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"Chinese Etiquette" Paper Cuts Exhibition Marking the UN Chinese Language Day Held in Palais des Nations

  On April 20th, the Permanent Mission of China and the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG) co-organized the "Chinese Etiquette" exhibition on the occasion of the UN Chinese Language Day in Palais des Nations. Ambassador WU Hailong, Permanent Representative of China to the UNOG, representative of Acting Director-General of the UNOG Michael Møller, Ms. Corinne Momal-Vanian, Director of the Division of Conference Management of the UNOG, delivered speeches at the opening ceremony. More than 300 people, including Permanent Representatives and diplomats from other missions, high level representatives from international organizations and Chinese language enthusiasts attended the ceremony.

  In his remarks, Ambassador Wu Hailong said that China has long been known as the Nation of Etiquette. The etiquette has been an inseparable part of Chinese culture through generations. 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.

  Ambassador Wu Hailong said that 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  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.

  Ambassador Wu emphasized that in an increasingly globalized world with closer people-to-people interactions, it is even more pressing to promote communication and understanding among peoples from different countries and different 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, promoting equal treatment and harmonious co-existence among different nations and civilizations as well as world peace.

  Ms. Corinne Momal-Vanian thanked the Chinese Mission for organizing this remarkable event. In her remarks, she noted that the United Nations attaches great importance to multi-linguisticism and cultural diversity. Establishing UN language day is a way of the UN family to promote unity and diversity, as well as international understanding, and learn more about the importance of cross cultural communications. Multi-linguisticism should not only be protected, but also be promoted, and by doing so will help enhance mutual respect and understanding among nations. The Chinese language, one of the six UN official languages, as well as one of the oldest languages in the world, is spoken by more than 1 billion people in the world. The Chinese paper cuts exhibition explains Chinese Etiquette, and the art works also express the emotions of the Chinese artists and showcase their talents. Chinese paper cut art, which transmitted from generation to generation, is among the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO.

  The "Chinese Etiquette" exhibition, consisting of 40 pieces of artwork, is displayed in six parts, namely Foreword, Traditional Festival Celebrations, Etiquette in Daily Socialization, Rites in Daily Life, Age-marking Ceremonies and Etiquette Anecdotes. They are all demonstrated in the form of traditional Chinese paper cuts. Besides the single-color and single-layer paper cuts, there are also multi-color and multi-layer ones, which are patented products and created by a folk artist from Yu County, Hebei Province.

  The guests at the opening ceremony were impressed by the splendid exhibition. They said that the exhibition was a feast for the eyes, and helped them understand the Chinese etiquette culture, profound traditional values and philosophy. Many guests attended UN Chinese Language Day cultural activities several times.

  In 2010, the day of Guyu, one of the 24 solar terms in Chinese lunar calendar, was selected as the UN Chinese Language Day. In the past four consecutive years, Chinese Mission and UNOG co-organized cultural activities annually to mark the Chinese Language Day in Palais des Nations. This exhibition lasts 2 weeks until 1 May.

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