ADDIS ABABA, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese New Year celebration was held Tuesday at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, with Mandarin-speaking students at UNECA and other staff enjoying distinctive Chinese cultural activities, including songs, paper cutting and aromatic Chinese tea.
Hosted by the Chinese Mission to the African Union (AU), the celebration brought together members of the diplomatic community from China and other African countries, as well as Chinese language students at UNECA, among others.
Wishing a happy and prosperous Chinese New Year and fruitful China-Africa cooperation, Hu Changchun, head of mission of China to the AU and representative of China to the UNECA, said China will continue to work with UNECA and Africa to build a China-Africa community with a shared future under the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative.
"Regardless of the changes in the world, China and Africa have always stood firmly by each other on issues involving core interests and major concerns," Hu said, adding that the language courses at UNECA will help the students better understand China's long and splendid history and culture, as well as appreciate more closely China's path to modernization.
"I hope that the Chinese language will be the window to a true, multi-dimensional and panoramic view of China," Hu said.
Appreciating the Chinese government for offering the Chinese language courses, Nita Deerpalsing, a UNECA official, said the courses are helping UN personnel expand their language base and understand the vast Chinese culture and tradition.
"Expanding the Chinese language will not only contribute to creating 'equilibrium' in the use of different languages across the world but also play a significant role in acquiring the enormous Eastern knowledge," Deerpalsing said.
Ricardo da Silva, chief of Security and Safety Services at UNECA, is one of the 15 UN personnel attending the Chinese language courses. Silva told Xinhua that he came to understand the sophisticated Chinese culture and tradition once he began attending the Chinese language courses.
"After I joined the Chinese language classes, I have begun to understand new visions and viewpoints and learn how people would be able to collaborate with each other for mutual benefits and development," said Silva. ■