Nurturing ties that bind

(From second left) Emeritus Prof Mohd Azraai, Bai Tian, Teo, Tunku Zain Al-’Abidin Tuanku Muhriz and UiTM board of directors chairman Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir at the China Cultural Day dinner reception. — Photos: AZLINA ABDULLAH/The Star

IT WAS an exchange of cultures at the China Cultural Day held at Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Shah Alam.

A dinner reception was held to celebrate the 45th anniversary of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations.

The event was jointly organised by the Chinese Embassy in Malaysia and the UiTM Office of International Affairs, with the support of the Education Ministry.

The highlight of the dinner concert held at the university’s Dewan Agung Tuanku Canselor were the cultural performances.

The Xinjiang Song and Dance Ensemble of Art Theatre performers were specially flown in to Malaysia for their debut performance at UiTM.

There were also performances by the UiTM Chamber Choir, traditional Malay gamelan and Malay drumming groups as well as Muhamad Shameer Mohd Nashrul, who is a top 10 finalist of the 2018 Astro Hua Hee Champion talent competition and top 30 finalist from season 4 of Super Idol in Shanghai, China.

A mesmerising performance by Xinjiang Song and Dance Ensemble of Art Theatre.A mesmerising performance by Xinjiang Song and Dance Ensemble of Art Theatre.

A group of UiTM students also recited Xu Zhimo’s poem entitled Chance.

Other programmes lined up for the celebration included a movie screening and cultural activities held earlier in the day.

The event drew more than 500 students, who had the opportunity to market themselves to 14 companies from China at a career exhibition.

In his opening remarks, China’s Ambassador to Malaysia Bai Tian said the embassy had been making China-Malaysia youth exchange their priority.

“Since last year, the Chinese Embassy and the Malaysia-China Friendship Association have jointly established the China-Malaysia Friendship Youth Exchange Fund, which aims to provide a broader and more favourable platform for young people to visit China.

“Today, I would like to announce that next year our embassy will invite 10 students from UiTM to visit China under the framework of the fund.

“I hope our young friends can see and feel for themselves a real, beautiful and diverse China, and become goodwill ambassadors of China-Malaysia friendship, ” he said.

UiTM students showcasing Malay music during the concert.UiTM students showcasing Malay music during the concert.

In his welcoming speech, UiTM vice-chancellor Emeritus Prof Datuk Dr Mohd Azraai Kassim said UiTM’s relationship with partner universities in China was necessary.

“The linkages through sustainable programmes and activities will enhance our presence in the global education arena.

“In July 2019, a China-UiTM collaboration with educational institutions in Guizhou was initiated. And on Sept 10, we signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China Pharmaceutical University in Nanjing where a series of research collaborations as well as students and staff mobility programmes are scheduled to start soon, especially in the field of herbal and traditional Chinese medicine, ” he said.

Deputy Education Minister Teo Nie Ching was guest of honour at the dinner.

In her speech, Teo said she met with China’s vice-education minister during her working trip to Beijing last September, where they discussed collaborations between the two ministries, the MoU with Confucius Institute and scholarships.

“Initiatives have been lined up to push Malaysia to become the region’s education hub.

“We hope to make Malaysia the premier education destination and we hope to get China’s support for this, ” she added.

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