United Nations staff on Friday marked the Chinese Language Day with an aim to promote Chinese language and culture inside the premises of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
The Chinese Language Day event, which was organized by the UN-ECA in collaboration with the Chinese Mission to the African Union (AU), featured presentations on Chinese culture, exhibition, Kung Fu performance, traditional Chinese musical instrument performance and Chinese tea ceremony, among other activities.
Established by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010, the Chinese Language Day is marked on April 20, aiming at celebrating multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of the UN's official working languages throughout the organization's structure and activities.
Carlos Hadaad, Director of Division of Administration at the ECA, said during the event that the Chinese Language Day commemoration signifies the promotion of multilingualism of Chinese language as well as various aspects of Chinese culture.
Hadaad also noted that the commemoration of the Chinese language day under the UN platform is a demonstration of the strong appreciation for the Chinese language, as well as China's role in promoting multilingualism.
"Multilingualism is not only an essential factor in harmonizing communication among people, but it's also regarded by the United Nations General Assembly as the core value of the organization," he said, adding "By promoting tolerance, multilingualism ensures that we can all participate effectively in the organization's work."
The six UN languages include Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
April 20 was chosen as the Chinese Language Day to pay tribute to Cangjie, a mythical figure claimed to have invented Chinese characters.
According to the Confucius Institute at the Addis Ababa University, the Chinese Language Day celebration events could be seen as an important platform in creating awareness of the Chinese language in particular and Chinese culture in general to the rest of the world.
Liu Yuxi, Head of the Chinese Mission to the AU, also said that commemoration of the Chinese language in partnership with the UN "has become an important platform for cultural exchanges between China and other countries of the world."
"China enjoys an ancient civilization whose history goes back thousands of years. The Chinese language, both in speaking and in writing, are deeply rooted in China's traditional culture. It is now becoming more and more popular with the development of the Chinese civilization," Liu said.
"As carriers of the Chinese culture, the Chinese language has made a positive contribution to the development and progress of the world's civilizations, and is exhibiting new life under new circumstances," the ambassador added.
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