The Iraqi-Chinese Friendship Association on Saturday held an event here to celebrate China's traditional Dragon Boat Festival, as part of its efforts to promote cultural exchanges between the two countries.
Attended by Chinese Ambassador to Iraq Cui Wei as well as representatives of Chinese companies based in Iraq and the Iraqi government, the event included a show of Iraqi folk costumes and traditional Iraqi songs, and a presentation about the making of Zongzi, a traditional Chinese delicacy wrapped in bamboo or reed leaves for celebrating the festival.
"We wanted to convey the feeling of love and the Chinese folklore to the Iraqi people, and at the same time we conveyed Iraqi folklore to the Chinese people (in Baghdad)," Haider al-Rubeiy, head of the Iraqi-Chinese Friendship Association, told Xinhua during the celebration.
Al-Rubeiy also expressed his expectation that Iraqi public universities will make Chinese language learning available due to the importance of the Chinese language.
Wang Lizihao, an employee of the Shanghai Electric Group Co., LTD Iraq Branch, volunteered to teach Iraqis how to make zongzi during the event. "When I participated in the Dragon Boat Festival in Iraq, which is located thousands of miles away from my country, I felt warm," he told Xinhua.
"I want the Iraqi people to understand what the Dragon Boat Festival is, why they eat Zongzi at the Dragon Boat Festival, and how to make it," said Sajjad al-Qazaz, a young member of the friendship association, who works as a Chinese language teacher.
"I think we should increase cultural exchange activities so that more Iraqis can understand Chinese traditional culture, which is a great culture," he said, noting the friendship between Iraq and China has a long and deep history.