Olutope Olawale

In order to further consolidate on the bridge of understanding between China and Nigeria, the two countries held a Cultural Fiesta, which stakeholders said  was aimed at promoting the Cultural relationship between China and Nigeria. 
In a speech, the Cultural Counsellor at the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Nigeria and Director, Chinese Cultural Centre, Mr Li Xuda, explained that no country can grow or develop above its culture, and emphasised that our cultures must be promoted on all fronts.
This event is coming at a time that the Communist Party of China, CPC, is about to clock 100 years of existence, haven’t been established on 21 July, 1921.  Mr Li went down memory lane on the progress made by China in the last 100 years, especially, since 1949, when the ‘new China’ was born. “Since it’s establishment China has gone through a 100-year glorious journey and made world-renowned achievements.
“Now we can see that 2021 is a very big year for us, it’s not only witnessing the 50th Anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties between China and Nigeria, but also the 100th anniversary of the founding of The Communist Party of China. It’s really “one happiness after another”,  Li said.
The Chairman FCT Secondary Education Board, Hon. Musa Yahaya Mohammad speaking at this event observed, that the China-Nigeria Cultural Fiesta serves as a veritable tool for cultural exchange betweenyoung Nigerians and the Chinese.”Today, due to the numerous hosting of this event, our students can sing the Chinese National Anthem, Chinesesongs, dances and make simple Chinese sentences. Chinese culture is no longer a hidden culture to the students and the impression of China as a country with a rich cultural heritage has come to stay with them.”Hon Mohammad emphasised that apart from the cultural exchanges, the competition provides both winners and losers with prizes that goes a long way in helping teaching and learning in our schools.He reaffirmed that Nigeria’s relationship with China has been a win-win affair all along, and we look forward to brighter days togetherHon. Mohammad however, requested that the FCT Secondary Education Board be carried along in areas of capacity building, vocational education and sports like- the lion dance, and martial arts as we progress into the ‘Belt and Road’ initiative of the Chinese Government.Speaking with SUMMIT POST in an interview on the sideline of the event, a teacher of Government Day Secondary School, Dutse, Abuja, said, Fiesta of such magnitude will help the students to be somehow busy, will help them not to be involved in issues like cultism. “My school for example, we used to have issues like cultism but with this kind of event, we are looking at getting students involved in these kind of activities so as to take them away from idleness.””Most time after their academics, their school time, they go home and don’t get engaged with other things. But if they have events like this ahead of them, they will go home and rehearse; rehearse the dances, the songs and everything that needs to be rehearsed for the event.”I can tell you that when we were leaving the school premises, some students were feeling like they should have been part of this team, but we can’t take all, we just have to take few.”Still on the interview session, a student of Government Day Secondary School, Dutse, Abuja, Nasir Jamiu, who studied in China for about three and a half years, urged China to assist in the improvement of his education because “I see alot in Nigeria-China Cooperation, and I will be grateful if it impact my life more.”
Jamiu reiterated that “Though there are no much similarities between both cultures but their cultural songs and dances seem to be a bit similar.”
On the role of holding Cultural Fiesta together by the two countries, Jamiu suggested that “If Nigeria and China can come up with an international cultural fiesta, I think it will birth something real big.”He then harped on the necessity of Nigeria learning from China “how they managed to beautify their country and copy same. We can also learn from their social and orderly life which  I believe this is practicable,” he concluded.Another participant, Prisca Eguavoen from Army Day Secondary School, Asokoro, who also spoke with our correspondent in an interview at the event expressed joy over the Fiesta  “because I’m an International Relations aspirant and this China-Nigeria partnership really gives me something to think about that I’m actually going to do out there and I really believe it’s a bold step towards world peace.She explained that a lot can be learnt from China “because we as students have adopted some of their learning schemes that Chinese students uses to learn faster and also this kind of partnership is exposure for the students. So, it’s building a better future; generations which will be exposed, not shy, and also merging economies which will be real big for Nigeria.”Miss Eguavoen explained that because of her interaction with the Chinese Culture, her eyes have been opened to studying more foreign languages.  According to her, she said that, “I think I will have to study a foreign language or two, and will also have to study about countries in the world because, I will be working towards becoming an ambassador or a diplomat.”
The 2021 China-Nigeria Cultural Fiesta is jointly organized by the ChineseEmbassy in collaboration with FCT Secondary Education Board and China Cultural Centre in Nigeria!
The event took place at the Chinese Cultural Centre Abuja on 18 May, 2021.

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