Tens of South African students got a chance to experience the Chinese culture in Johannesburg on the eve of the Chinese New Year on Tuesday.
The students attended a Chinese culture and heritage exhibition, giving them a peek into Chinese way of life.
Speaking to Xinhua news agency, Ofentse Girls High School student Busisiwe Msimang hailed the exhibition, saying it had been eye opening.
“This is very interesting because I’m learning more about Chinese language and culture. I would like to learn the language even though it does not sound easy,” the 13-year-old girl said.
Her sentiments were echoed by another student Aphiwe Shezi.
“This is the first time I’m interacting with Chinese people and also learning about their New Year,” said Shezi, a grade eight student. “I like their language because it’s different from mine.”
“I’d like to learn more about their traditions and their food. I want to know how they live in China and their lifestyle and also travel to China.”
The Johannesburg exhibition was organized by the Chinese Embassy as the world prepared to celebrate the Chinese New Year and the beginning of the Spring festival.
The Cultural Affairs Counsellor at the Chinese Embassy, Zhou Yong, stressed the importance of people to people exchanges between China and South Africa.
“If we know one another’s culture and understand one another’s heritage, it’s easy to interact and establish people to people’s exchange,” he said. “Chinese language is very unique, interesting and ancient. Children become smart by learning it.”