As people in Santa Lucija, a village in the small island nation ofMalta, look forward to its annual Chinese Film Festival thissummer, the China Cultural Center in Malta has pledged to organizemore cultural events this year to mark the 40th anniversary ofdiplomatic relations between the two countries. CRI's Xu Fei takes a closer look. Santa Lucija, the only Maltese village with a partnership withJinchang district of Suzhou city in east China, began to offer itscitizens a feast for their eyes in 2007 when it organized a Chinesefilm festival at the end of the summer. Santa Lucija Mayor Frederick Cutajar, explained that all the filmsthey have presented came from China Cultural Center in Malta. |
"The center shows us very nice Chinese films. And we end theevening by going to eat Chinese food. And I would like to say theMaltese like Chinese food a lot." Apart from the Chinese Film Festival, the China Cultural Center isalso very active in holding exhibitions as well as culturalactivities elsewhere in Malta. Talking about an ongoing photo exhibition about China'sreconstruction efforts after the Wenchuan earthquake in May 2008held in Valletta, the capital of Malta, Gu Hongxing, director ofthe China Cultural Center, explained how both Maltese governmentofficials and ordinary people came to understand how Chinese peopleare steadfast when faced with trouble.
"Tourists who see the exhibition came to know the Chinesegovernment has been devoting itself to disaster relief andrebuilding homes for these earthquake victims. They realize thatChinese people are all very brave." Aida Daoud Bushra, an English language teacher, is one of manyMaltese who appreciated the exhibition. Influenced by her father,she emphasized that she doesn't really want to miss any chance toget closer to Chinese culture. "It was more out of curiosity and because my father recommended itbecause he used to be part of the China-Malta friendship society,so he was already very fascinated with Chinese culture. And he hadbeen to China and traveled around it.
And when I was growing up, Ioften asked him questions about China and he often told me, 'Whenyou grow up, go and find out yourself.' When I had this opportunityto come into contact with Chinese culture, I took it." As an active member of the China Cultural center, Aida Daoud Bushrais enthusiastic about her Chinese language studies at the center. "I think with the Chinese language and Chinese culture, the moreyou study, the more you want to know. It's like every door youopen, opens more doors. So it's like a life journey." In addition to these regular cultural activities, which includeexhibitions and language classes, the China Cultural Center inMalta also brought some pleasant surprises to Maltese by invitingthem to participate in a traditional Chinese festival. "Our cultural program "Happy Valetta Spring Festival" was just heldon the street in Valletta so everybody could join us.
The openingceremony of this year's event was held in a square in front ofpresidential palace. We've also invited them to celebrate ourMid-Autumn Festival." Director Gu said proudly that government officials in Valletta areloyal supporters of these activities that promote Chinese culture. Malta's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Tonio Borgthinks highly of these activities, saying they will convey goodwillespecially as this year marks the 40th anniversary of diplomaticties. "Culture serves the purpose of diplomacy as well. I'm informed it'sa very popular center.
I mean a lot of Maltese attend the centereither to learn the Chinese language or even visit theexhibitions." The China Cultural Center was established in Valletta in 2003.Chinese cultural activities such as The Happy Valletta SpringFestival have become part of the local calendar and are enjoyed byboth Maltese residents and foreign tourists alike. Furtheractivities such as this will go a long way towards strengtheningand supporting the increasing number of cultural exchanges takingplace this year and in the years ahead. For CRI, I'm Xu Fei.
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