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Humanities exchanges build a bridge of mutual learning
2019-06-17Text Size: A A A

The exchanges between countries lie in their people. The commonwealth of the people is the social foundation for the construction of the “Belt and Road”. The joint construction of “One Belt and One Road” needs people’s support and their friendly exchanges. And culture is an important bridge to promote the commonwealth of the people. Ningbo is known as the "living fossil" that records the history of the ancient Maritime Silk Road. Now it is an important node city to serve and integrate into the "Belt and Road" construction. In the past six years, Ningbo has made it more convenient for products to land in China and other places in the world. Meanwhile, its cultural exchanges with the countries and regions along the line is becoming increasingly close.

Ningbo is a national historical and cultural city with profound cultural heritage and rich human resources. Ningbo has nurtured Hemudu culture, marine culture, Zhejiang academic culture, book-collection culture, celadon culture, “Ningbo Gang” culture, and local intangible cultural heritage such as Yong Opera and Yao Opera. Besides, there are other accumulated culture such as “National Civilized City”, “Happiest City” and “Charity City”. All these constitute a rich and unique Ningbo regional culture, which is both rooted in Ningbo and integrated into the world; it has a long history and is inclusive.

Different countries have different cultures. It is impossible to know each other overnight. It takes time and relies on people’s communication and exchange.  

Ningbo’s participation in the construction of the “Belt and Road” is by the “hard connectivity” of routes, ports and railways as well as the “soft connectivity” between people. As early as four years ago, Ningbo proposed to create a platform for bilateral cultural exchanges between China and Central and Eastern European countries. At present, cooperation between Ningbo and Central and Eastern European countries has expanded from economic and trade to education, science and technology, talent, culture, health, sports, tourism and many other fields.

The Sofia Chinese Cultural Center, jointly established by Ningbo Municipal Government and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, is the official cultural institution established by the Chinese government in Bulgaria and the first overseas cultural communication front in Ningbo. Since its operation in November 2017, more than 30 trainings, exhibitions and performances have been held; Ningbo has established friendly relations with 21 cities in 16 Central and Eastern European countries. More and more students from Central and Eastern Europe have come to study and work in Ningbo. Ningbo Foreign Affairs School has settled in Deva, Romania. The University of Nottingham Ningbo has established an exchange mechanism with a number of universities in Central and Eastern Europe. Zhejiang Wanli College has sent teachers to Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and other countries for three consecutive years to learn and to give lectures on Chinese culture. Ningbo Municipal Government has organized “Central and Eastern Europe Tour” for 4 consecutive years. Nearly 7,000 citizens have participated in it. In 2019, the event will be extended to Greece to achieve full coverage of “17+1”...

——You Deliang, the chief representative of the Polish Investment and Trade Bureau in China, brought food such as milk, chocolate and biscuits from Poland; Slavica Cvitani, the financial editor of the Croatian News Agency, came to Ningbo and used the pen as the medium to spread “The voice of Ningbo”; the Bulgarian girl Echo graduated from the Sofia University Chinese major and can speak fluent Chinese. After working in Ningbo, she was very proud of being the Chinese cultural exchange messenger; Dushan, from the Republic of Montenegro, was very impressed by Ningbo’s “crab”. He also wanted to invite more people from Ningbo to enjoy seafood in his hometown; in December 2018, the Croatian pianist Maxim’s “New Silk Road” won warm applause from the audience of Ningbo...

From June 9th to 11th, the humanistic exchange event of the first China-CEEC Expo and International Consumer Goods Fair--The encounter on the tip of tongue - Central and Eastern European cuisine and Zhejiang Cuisine was held in Ningbo Old Bund. In the vivid picture of cultural exchange and learning, there are Lithuanian cheese dumplings, Slovakian potato pancakes, Northern Macedonia's Balkan barbecue, Serbian smoked sausages, Romanian wines, Czech fine lagers and other specialties; Ningbo Tangtuan, large yellow croaker cooked with salted vegetable, Jinyun cake, Jiaxing Zongzi, Kaihua cake, Pucao Black Rice, Pujiang noodle and other traditional snacks; drama "Golden Monkey Spring", the performance of the Ningbo Symphony Orchestra, the Xiangshan 16th Bowl Allegro show, etc.

The beauty of harmony is the difference." Civilizations communicate because of diversity, and they learn from each other because of mutual exchanges. History tells us that the differences between civilizations should not become obstacles to communication, and they should not be the reason for confrontation. Instead, they should be open, inclusive, learn from each other, seek harmony and coexistence, and achieve win-win cooperation.   

For Ningbo, it is the growing and rich cultural exchanges with Central and Eastern European countries that have created more and more cultural communicators. “Ningbo Story” narrators and people’s messengers have set up a bridge of mutual communication and understanding for people with different languages, customs and culture to get closer and interpret the touching stories of joining hands.

"There is no end of the vast ocean, and we will set sail with the wind." Throughout the ages, people's longing for and pursuit for a better life is the same.  In the face of the turbulent tide of the times, facing the turbulent international situation, the cultural exchange bridge between Ningbo and Central and Eastern European countries is working with economic and trade exchanges to make the people become participants and beneficiary of the “Belt and Road” construction. The fruitful cooperation will better benefit the people of all countries.

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