Over 15,000 people from 50 countries joined live feeds of the 2nd SmallsmallChinese& Friends Chinese New Year Online Celebration on 28th January as China welcomes the world to the Year of the Rabbit. As reported by several international media, the theme was “Bridging language gaps” and featured performances from several stars from China and around the world as well as students of Chinese at different levels.
In her speech, SmallsmallChinese founder and Cultural Ambassador Mariatu Kargbo spoke of her inspiration for teaching Chinese words and phrases. “We can all learn some simple tools that will help us make new friends,” she said, even telling the participants, “Let’s all learn the words for Thank You (xiexie), Happy New Year (xinniankuaile) and Come On (jiayou)!”
Among the singers appearing were Xinjiang folk artist Guli Xiati, Hu Junming, one of Jackie Chan’s main disciples and France’s Abbe Shushu. Further medleys of One Belt One Road and Let the World Be Full of Love featured multiple stars. To show how culture can transcend language, dancer Cao Xinyu, DK Dance from Qinghua University, magician Cheng Sanhu, Taiqi Master Liu Suibin and wushu (martial arts) students at the Confucius Institute in Sierra Leone all presented their interpretations.
The show also showcased people from around the world who have studied the Chinese language to a high level, including Victoria, Iegor and Tina who perform a crosstalk with Yan Jiabao. In a segment on learning Chinese, and in messages spread through the show, we also hear from those who are just starting on their Chinese language journey.
Among the leaders sending their congratulations to Mariatu Kargbo and SmallsmallChinese& friends project were Ambassador Wu Peng, Director of the Africa Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs China, Ambassador Wang Qing, China’s Ambassador to Sierra Leone, Mr. Ji Yongjun, Deputy Director General, Department of Asian and African Affairs, CPAFFC, Professor Jing Man, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Sierra Leone, former South African Ambassador Grant Grobbler, Dr Samantha Sibanda, founder of Appreciate Africa Network and Vice President of ADICNET, Madam Zahra Jidda, President, Commonwealth Society in Beijing(CSB), Mrs. Onike King, Chair of the Sierra Leone China Friendship Association (SiLCHA) and Joseph Olivier Mendo’o, ACL president and youth leader of African students in China.
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