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Culture spreads its wings in Africa

Updated: 2015-05-20 07:35
By Wang Kaihao (China Daily)

More than 200 major Sino-African cultural communication events are being staged this year, the Ministry of Culture said on Tuesday.

Chinese Culture in Focus, an annual project launched by the ministry in 2008 to promote cultural communication between China and Africa, will cover more than 20 African countries, according to Zhao Haisheng, deputy director of the ministry's Bureau for External Cultural Relations.

The countries include South Africa, Ethiopia and Tanzania, Zhao said at a news conference held by the ministry.

"The project has become a platform for China and Africa to learn from each other and will continue to enhance the cultural foundations for strategic cooperation between them," Zhao said.

The Year of China in South Africa, launched by the ministry and South Africa's Ministry of Arts and Culture, opened in March - the first time an African country has hosted Year of China.

Different activities centering on China, including fine arts exhibitions, symposiums and film festivals, will be staged until November as part of the event.

Zhao said: "South Africa is only a start. More African countries will host Year of China in the future."

China and Egypt will mark the 60th anniversary of their diplomatic relationship next year. Zhao said that Egypt will probably be the next country to host Year of China.

Zhao also said it is crucial to widen the global reach of Chinese participants in such projects to reflect China's diverse cultural landscape.

Culture spreads its wings in Africa

Delegates from 14 provincial-level administrative areas are showcasing their African programs this year.

For example, Tianjin will host an intangible cultural heritage exhibition in Africa. Zhejiang province will open pottery training workshops for African students, and Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, will hold a cultural heritage restoration training program.

Chinese Culture in Focus 2015 will also witness some new features, including a journalists' exchange program and training in animation expertise.

"Martial arts and acrobatics are insufficient to represent Chinese culture," Zhao said. "When we promote our culture overseas, we need to do more than just present our techniques. In-depth dialogues ... are more important."

He also said that governments and the State framework can't handle everything, and greater social efforts and efficiency are needed to promote specific programs for different target audiences.

In the past seven years, about 200 institutions from China and Africa have formed regular cooperative relationships under Chinese Culture in Focus.


(China Daily 05/20/2015 page4)

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