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Opening Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Ma Zhaoxu at the Reception of UN Chinese Language Day
Palais des Nations, 18:30 April 19th

Your Excellency Director-General Mr. Møller,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Welcome to the event this evening on the occasion of the UN Chinese Language Day.

Today is the Chinese lunar calendar day of Guyu, which means “rain of millet”. (It is a date to pay tribute to Cang Jie, a mythical figure presumed as the one who invented Chinese Characters and who impressed the heaven so much that it rained millet). In 2010, this date was selected as the UN official Chinese Language Day. Since then, we have annually observed the date at the Palais des Nations by presenting various feasts of Chinese cultural events, demonstrating the charm and diversity of Chinese culture in different aspects. Today the Permanent Mission of China, the People’s Government of Jiang Yong County, Hunan Province of China, and the UNOG co-organized this “Nv Shu” exhibition of ancient Chinese women’s calligraphy.

“Nv Shu” originated from Jiang Yong County, Hunan Province of China. It is the only feminine written language ever found in the world, and now has been preserved and carried on as a unique cultural heritage. It is made of special symbols for phonetic syllables of local dialect invented by women themselves and used exclusively among them. “Nv Shu” is significantly valuable for the research on the origin of human languages and feminine culture as well as the origin and development of civilization.

As President Xi Jinping stated at the UN Global Summit on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in New York last September, women are creators of material and spiritual wealth and an important driving force to social development and progress. In the remote mountainous areas of Jiang Yong County, some ancient Chinese women peasants, who had no chance of receiving education, created their own feminine written codes of communication which recorded and passed on important folk songs and stories. This is a real cultural legend.

We hope that this exhibition could help you fully experience the charm of our cultural treasure—“Nv Shu”, as well as the wisdom and creativity of Chinese women. China stands ready to join hands with the international community to enhance exchanges and mutual learning, to protect and inherit historical and cultural heritage, and to promote global women’s empowerment, aiming to construct a better world !

Finally, I wish the 2016 UN Chinese Language Day exhibition a great success!

Thank you!

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