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International Chinese Language Day Giant Panda Series Livestream Builds Bridge for Cultural Exchange

Livestream with American youngsters

April 20th this year marks the 14th United Nations Chinese Language Day, and also the 4th International Chinese Language Day jointly initiated by the Center for Language Education and Cooperation and Chinese Plus. To celebrate this festival for Chinese language enthusiasts across the globe, the School of Foreign Languages of Southwest Jiaotong University teamed up with Pandaful to launch the “An Adventure with Pandas” series of five livestreams targeting Chinese language enthusiasts in the U.K. and the U.S., with support provided by the China Conservation and Research Center for Giant Panda and the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding.

More than 9,500 students from some 430 primary and secondary schools in the U.K. and the U.S. and eight American universities signed up for the event, and the audiences put forth more than 60 questions related to the giant panda. During the livestream session for American university students, pupils from Washington University in St. Louis, Duke University, Howard University, Boston University, University of North Carolina and Miami Dade College, among other institutions, discussed with giant panda experts the functions of giant pandas in ecological protection and their roles as umbrella species, and quite a number of American collegiate students used fluent Chinese to pose questions to the panda experts.

During the livestream session for American youngsters, the audiences watched the story about giant panda Tao Tao’s survival in wilderness, and they left comments such as “I love Tao Tao!” and “protecting the giant panda is very important”.

The livestreams for British youngsters were respectively held in Oxford and Scotland. During the Oxford session, students eagerly participated in a knowledge competition about the giant panda, and they created their own stories about the animal using giant panda handicrafts they made themselves. During the event, the sponsor also provided to children in Scotland imagery of the giant pandas Yang Guang and Tian Tian prior to their arrival in Scotland in 2011, and a primary school student watching the livestream said: “I wasn’t born when Yang Guang and Tian Tian arrived in Scotland, I ought to call them elder brother and elder sister.”

This event was also a special event in a project under the Center for Language Education and Cooperation and “Youth Link Chinese-Foreign Youngsters Conversation on Cloud” program of Southwest Jiaotong University. This activity offered both Chinese and foreign youngsters a platform to share and follow topics of global conversations, and served to foster cultural exchange and interaction. Professor Li Chengjian, Director of the International Communication Center of Southwest Jiaotong University, expressed: “I am happy that Youth Link can function as such a bridge.”

As one of the six official languages of the U.N., the Chinese language has played an instrumental role ever since the inception of the United Nations. Data indicate that more than 80 countries around the world have included Chinese as part of their education system, and there are more than 30 million people learning Chinese outside China. At present, the International Chinese Language Day has been held for four straight years, having garnered participation from some 150 million person/times from more than 150 nations across the planet.

Source: Southwest Jiaotong University

Source: Southwest Jiaotong University