SChina, UN hold year of rabbit exhibition in Ethiopian capital

21Jan 2023
ADDIS ABABA
The Guardian
SChina, UN hold year of rabbit exhibition in Ethiopian capital

WITH distinctive Chinese New Year songs and cultural performances along with aromatic Chinese tea and cuisines, a special ceremony, held Tuesday at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, marked the approaching Chinese Lunar New Year.

Chief of Staff at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Sweta Saxena speaks during an event of the exhibition of Happy Chinese New Year and an Extraordinary Decade of China in the New Era, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on January. 17, 2023.

With the Year of the Rabbit right around the corner, the event marked the start of an exhibition featuring Chinese art performances, history, and cuisines, which runs through Jan. 24, inside the premises of the UNECA.

Hosted by the Chinese Mission to the African Union and the UNECA, the exhibition brought together members of the diplomatic community from China and other African countries, and the UN family in Ethiopia, among others.

Chief of Staff at the UNECA Sweta Saxena said during the opening event that the ever-growing cultural exchange activities between China and Africa foster socioeconomic ties between the two sides.

Chief of Staff at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Sweta Saxena speaks during an opening event of the exhibition themed Happy Chinese New Year and an Extraordinary Decade of China in the New Era, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Jan. 17, 2023. (Xinhua/Michael Tewelde)

“In Chinese culture, rabbit is a symbol of longevity, peace, and prosperity,” she said. “I hope it will usher us into an era of a long friendship between China and Africa that brings peace and prosperity.”

Saxena said exchanges between China and Africa have expanded and deepened in culture, media and communication, science and technology, think-thanks, and facilitated dialogues among youth and women.

Rakeb Million, one of the visitors, said she was deeply enchanted by the performances.

“Personally, it is my first-ever experience celebrating the Chinese New Year and I feel very happy to be here. I have seen different cultural practices today and I really like all their cultural activities, especially tea making ceremony -- very neat, simple, and exquisite,” she said. “What amazed me the most is their sense of togetherness and closeness. They (Chinese people) look very beautiful as they celebrate the New Year together.”

The exhibition, in particular, created synergy between Chinese and African cultures as students from the Confucius Institute at Addis Ababa University (AAU) presented a combination of both Chinese and African cultural performances and dances.

Heran Adane, a Chinese language student at the AAU Confucius Institute, was one of the performers at the event.

“Today, we have presented different performances, which include singing Chinese songs, performing Ethiopian cultural dances and songs, martial arts, and other different activities,” she said. “The Chinese New Year is such a unique event and we are enjoying it.”

Hu Changchun, head of the Chinese Mission to the AU, said the Year of the Rabbit will bring warmth, peace, happiness and hope to the people of Africa, China and beyond.

“In the new year, the Chinese side stands ready to work with the UNECA, all African friends and partners to make positive contributions to building an even closer community with a shared future for China and Africa,” he said.

The Year of the Rabbit falls on Sunday Jan 22, this year. 

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