Feature: Concert marks Chinese Language Day in Geneva

  • World
  • Wednesday, 24 Apr 2024

by Xinhua writer Shi Song, Wang Qibing, Chen Binjie

GENEVA, April 23 (Xinhua) -- A concert featuring Chinese classical and folk music performed on traditional instruments and vocals resounded at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on Tuesday, bringing the 15th United Nations (UN) Chinese Language Day celebrations to culmination.

Two renowned artists, Mo Juanjuan and Zhang Zhiming from central China's Hunan Province, presented classical folk songs in praise of the mountains, rivers and plants. Their performances, a feast combining linguistic and cultural beauty with classical music, drew nearly 400 guests from around the world at the UN meeting hall.

Alessandra Vellucci, director of the UN information service in Geneva, spoke highly of the concert for its outstanding musical and vocal performances.

Titled "A Panorama of Hunan Province -- A Concert of Traditional Chinese Instruments in Celebration of the UN Chinese Language Day Programme," the event was jointly organized by the permanent mission of China to the UN office in Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland, the UN office in Geneva and China Media Group.

Tatiana Valovaya, director-general of the UN in Geneva, said the event was not just about commemorating Chinese Language Day, but also honoring the history and experiences of the Chinese people. The occasion is meant to celebrate the shared humanity and heritage, she said, highlighting the significance of unity, diversity, and solidarity in fostering global understanding and cooperation.

Chen Xu, permanent representative of China to the UN office at Geneva and other international organizations in Switzerland, emphasized that the Chinese character for "person" is composed of two strokes symbolizing mutual reliance and support, illustrating the interdependence among people. He noted that in today's globalized world, characterized by diverse cultures, ethnicities and social structures, people from different nations have come together to create a community with a common destiny.

AIireza Jeyrani Hokmabad, minister counsellor of the permanent mission of Iran in Geneva, said the event was thoroughly enjoyable and was a good introduction of China's rich culture.

Claire Battistelli, a French intern at the UN Office at Geneva, said it was her first-ever experience attending a concert of traditional Chinese instruments. The music was delightful, and it was a fantastic way to learn about the Chinese culture, she said.

As a centerpiece decoration at the venue, a mascot named "Cangbao" drew the crowd. The image is inspired by a turtle and whose name is derived from Cang Jie, a legendary ancient Chinese man believed to be the inventor of Chinese characters.

The mascot features many elements of traditional Chinese culture, including the oracle bone script, the traditional Chinese conical hat, and the traditional brush for writing and painting.

The UN's Language Days, created in 2010, celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity and promote the equal use of the organization's six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.

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