By Olimatou Coker
The Chinese Embassy in The Gambia on Friday awarded over 30 winners of the Chinese Spring Festival (new year) quiz that centered on Chinese tradition and culture. The quiz, which was in the form of a test of knowledge on Chinese tradition and culture to mark the new year of The Rabbit, was organised in collaboration with The Standard.
Speaking at a colourful prize presentation ceremony, H.E. Liu Jin, the Chinese Ambassador to The Gambia, said the Gambia and China are good friends already and pledged his commitment to work together to promote the bilateral relationship between the two countries. The ambassador disclosed that one way to keep the good relations sustainable is to increase people-to-people exchange programme which he said comes through a fellowship through which Gambians visit China to learn various ways of Chinese life, governance and philosophy.
Ambassador Jin said now that cross border travelling is easing up, there will be more chances to have the people-to-people exchange in place .
As such, Ambassador Liu disclosed that the embassy is planning to invite around 300 Gambian friends to go to China this year through various channels like joining the exchange programs, training programmes and scholarships which will enable more Gambian friends to go to China to increase understanding or consolidate fellowship-friendly programmes.
“Gambia and China are good friends, so let’s work together to promote our bilateral relationship,” the Ambassador said to the joyous audience.
Lamin Cham, editor of The Standard, explained that the initiative taken by the Chinese Embassy to educate and widen the horizon of Gambians on Chinese culture is very important in the strengthening of relations between the two countries and peoples.
“The questions were tricky but looking at the entries, I am amazed that the participants have done tremendously well. You have shown great knowledge about the culture, and traditions of China,” Cham told the participants.
Accompanied by General Manager Pa Salla Jeng, Mr Cham thanked the Embassy for choosing The Standard for partnership in this exercise.
Georgina Riley, the 1st prize winner of the quiz commented:
“l have always been keen to learn about cultures of different countries from a young age and this is why when I saw the first publication of the quiz in The Standard Newspaper I did not hesitate to participate”.
Ms Riley commended the Chinese government’s support to the social and economic development of the Gambia by implementing projects such as road and bridge constructions.
She added that China and the Gambia have good diplomatic relations so it is no surprise that the Chinese embassy in the Gambia has cooperated with The Standard Newspaper for this Chinese spring festival quiz, which she described as a step for Gambians to learn, understand and appreciate the tradition of Chinese culture.
The event also featured a display of Chinese martial arts by Gambian performers, as well as Chinese dance performed by a dancer. The University of the Gambia Confucius club also read poems while students from Nusrat Senior Secondary School Chinese language club performed language demonstration.