Chinese Language Day was officially established by the UN Department of Public Information. Since 2011 the date has been the 20th of April, corresponding to Guyu in the Chinese calendar. Chinese people celebrate Guyu in honor of Cangjie, because of a legend that when Cangjie invented Chinese characters, the deities and ghosts cried and it rained millet; the word "Guyu" literally means "rain of millet". For more than a decade, the United Nations has been celebrating Language Day to encourage cultural diversity. This event opens the door to getting to know and understand China.
The event UN Chinese Language Day this year was presented jointly by MCI China Center and MCI Language Center. After the opening speech by Brigitte Huter (Language Center) and Prof. Wei Manske-Wang (China Center), Prof. Chongling Huang, head of the Education Department of the Chinese Embassy in Austria then gave a welcome speech for the event from Vienna. To promote study and interaction between the two countries, Hui Tang also shared information about scholarships for students who are planning to study in China.
The keynote speaker of this event, Stefan Woditsch, who was directly connected from Shanghai, shared his experience of living and working in China with the theme of “Chinese – The key to open 1.4 billion doors”. Stefan now is the Director of Operations of Melchers China. After his Management Trainee Program in Germany and Netherlands, he moved to Singapore and got a position as Executive Board Assistant. On that occasion, he noticed the potential of the Chinese market, and because he had learned Cantonese when he was 16, he decided to join the German company Melchers in Guangzhou and later in Shanghai. Based on his own story, he talked about his impressions of China's urban and rural areas, he also shared the digital environment in China and the opportunities being able to speak Chinese has brought him, especially the business benefit. This presentation was insightful for students who have not yet been to China.
Last but not least, Yiqiao Wang, the Chinese course lecturer from MCI Language Center did a brief breakdown of Chinese cuisine. Later on, the invited guests enjoyed Chinese food and tea, exchange anecdotes and experiences about China on the sunny roof terrace of the MCI.
“Understanding a country's language is a way to better understand the history, present, and future of that country,” explained Brigitte Huter, Head of MCI Language Center.
“We hope that the UN Chinese Language Day will continue to serve as a window and bridge to understand China better,” Prof. Wei Manske-Wang said “MCI China Center will continue to work on breaking down barriers, promoting mutual understanding, and providing an international platform by bringing people together.”
Guests attending the event enjoyed the Chinese buffet and tea on the MCI roof terrace. Photo: MCI
Guest speakers Stefan Woditsch - Director of Operations China at Melchers China & Prof. Chongling Huang - Head of Education at the Chinese Embassy in Austria. Photo: MCI
Yiqiao Wang, Chinese lecturer at the MCI Language Center, giving a brief introduction to Chinese food culture. Photo: MCI
The guests attending the event could also taste Chinese sweets at the buffet. Photo: MCI
Invitation to the UN Chinese Language Day at MCI. Photo: MCI