The opening reception of New Zealand Chinese Language Week 2022 was held on Monday evening at the Grand Hall of Parliament Buildings in Wellington.
During this week, New Zealand will host a series of traditional Chinese cultural activities.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern extended her congratulations to the event in a video speech starting with greetings in Chinese.
"Since 2014, New Zealand Chinese language week has helped promote and encourage Chinese language learning here in New Zealand," she said.
Ardern encouraged more New Zealanders to learn the Chinese language. "Our country is home to more than 240,000 Chinese New Zealanders who all play a significant role in contributing to our diverse culture. Communicating with someone in their language let you see things from a different perspective. So even if it is as simple as learning a new greeting, I encourage you to give Chinese a go this week."
Chinese Ambassador to New Zealand Wang Xiaolong said that the rising popularity of the Chinese language in the wider New Zealand society is a reflection of the ever closer relations between the two countries.
"This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of our diplomatic relations," Wang said, noting that over the past 50 years, both sides have been open and inclusive enough to appreciate and learn from each other, in that process promoting practical cooperation for mutual benefits and win-win outcomes.
"From what we have seen today eight years after its inauguration, New Zealand Chinese Language Week has grown into a signature brand of the multi-layered and multi-faceted people-to-people links between our two countries, which have underpinned the growth of our overall friendship, culminating in the evolving comprehensive strategic partnership between our two countries," Wang said.
Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives Adrian Rurawhe, Minister for Diversity, Inclusion and Ethnic Communities Priyanca Radhakrishnan and Ambassador Wang presented the 2022 Youth Ambassadors and Mandarin Superstars with honorary certificates together.
The New Zealand Chinese Language Week was first held in 2014. It is another language week held in New Zealand after the Maori Language Week and the Pacific Island Language Week.