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Opening Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Wu Hailong At the Reception of UN Chinese Language Day

Opening Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Wu Hailong

At the Reception of UN Chinese Language Day

(Palais des Nations, 18:30 April 20th)


Ms. Corinne Momal-Vanian,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

First of all, I would like to warmly welcome you to join this event on the occasion of the UN Chinese Language Day.

In 2010, the United Nations set the Chinese Lunar Calendar day of Guyu as the UN Chinese Language Day. In the past three years, we celebrated this day at the Palais des Nations by holding various exhibitions on Chinese culture. Last year, we enjoyed the charm of Chinese characters through the exhibition of "Picturesque Chinese Character".

This year, our Mission and the United Nations Office at Geneva co-organize the "Chinese Etiquette" paper-cut exhibition. I hope this activity will help people in the UN and Geneva better understand Chinese culture and become more interested in learning Chinese.

China has long been known as the Nation of Etiquette. The etiquette has been an inseparable part of Chinese culture through generations. More than three thousand years ago, the Chinese people formulated a comprehensive system of rites and ceremonies which were carried forward by Confucius, Mencius and many others and finally became an important component of Chinese culture in the form of "Li" (Etiquette).

In Chinese culture, "Etiquette" is not only a code of conduct, but also values. It is integrated into every aspect of the Chinese social and daily life and becomes a unique channel to understand Chinese culture.

The forms and expression of "Etiquette" are changing over time. Many of the ancient ceremonies are no longer performed in modern Chinese society, but the core concept of "Etiquette" remains intact over the ages and becomes even more relevant today. Traditional virtues such as respecting the elderly and caring for the young, respecting teachers and promoting education, as well as reciprocal courtesy, find their way deep into the Chinese people's heart and are widely honored and followed. With the ever closer exchanges among nations in the world, the traditional Chinese courtesy absorbs and draws upon the essence of many other countries' etiquette, which injects new life into our courteous tradition.

In today's globalizing world with increasing connections and interactions among people of all countries, it is even more pressing for the communication and understanding among different cultures and civilizations. Just as the principle of "Etiquette" is to be followed in people-to-people exchanges, interactions among nations and civilizations should be based on the principle of mutual respect and reciprocal courtesy. That is conducive to reducing misunderstanding, promote equal treatment and harmonious co-existence among different nations and civilizations as well as the world peace.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The very special feature of this exhibition is traditional Chinese paper-cut. As a folk art, the Chinese paper-cut has undergone over 2,000 years of evolution and has been popular in China. In 2009, the Chinese paper-cut was added by UNESCO to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

All the paper cuts in this exhibition are handmade in a traditional way. Besides the single-color and single-layer paper cuts, you will see the multi-color and multi-layer ones created by a folk artist from Yu County, Hebei Province, whose technique represents the highest artistic level of Chinese paper-cut.

I hope this exhibition could allow you to understand the Chinese traditional etiquette and virtues, and fully experience the charm of Chinese culture through these paper cuts. This exhibition will last for two weeks and you will have sufficient time to enjoy it.

In conclusion, I wish the 2015 UN Chinese Language Day exhibition a great success!

Thank you!


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