Exhibition links ancient civilizations

2019-11-04 China Daily Editor:Mo Hong'e

Learning Chinese and working at a Chinese company are "prestigious" for many Greek young people, a Greek student who has been learning Chinese for three years said at a Chinese cultural exhibition in Athens, Greece, on Saturday.

The exhibition, aiming to introduce the origin and evolution of Chinese characters to Greeks, as well as connections between Chinese characters and Greek letters, attracted around 400 people, including scholars and students from Greek universities, overseas Chinese and local Greeks interested in Chinese culture.

Also present were Guo Weimin, deputy head of China's State Council Information Office; Wang Qiang, political counselor of the Chinese embassy in Greece; and Adonis Georgiadis, minister for Development and Investment in Greece.

In his keynote speech, Guo said ancient Greece is a key birthplace of Western civilization and enjoys a high reputation among Chinese people. Both Chinese and Greek are great languages with a long history.

"Promoting Chinese and Greek jointly has a great meaning, which is a good example of exchanges and mutual learning between Eastern and Western civilizations," he said. "The communication between the two ancient civilizations will lead the trend in the efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind."

"More and more Greeks want to learn Chinese," Xue Jianhong said. She is the founder of one of the largest Chinese-language school in Greece, which was established seven years ago with only 30 students. Now the number is 130 and still increases.

"Half of them are students who study marine engineering, which has long been a major occupation in Greece because of the country's profound relations with the ocean," she said.

She added that these young people's "dream" is to work for China Ocean Shipping Company in the port of Piraeus, referring to COSCO's "integrity", "well-paid jobs", and "potential" as a Chinese company.

According to Xu Lirong, chairman of China COSCO Shipping, the company has created more than 8,000 jobs for the local economy since 2009. And it is expected that the Piraeus port project by 2025 will increase Greece's revenue by 474.7 million euros ($531.3 million), creating 31,000 jobs and boosting Greek GDP by 0.8 percent.

At the exhibition, people also enjoyed a rare opportunity to experience Chinese woodblock printing. One of the four great inventions of ancient China, it produced the world's first print culture.

"This event is the best opportunity to experience Chinese culture. It not only makes me know more about Chinese characters, but also have a better understanding of China," one of the participants said.

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