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Visiting Program for Young Sinologists kicks off in Beijing

Author  :  Lü SHA     Source  :    Chinese Social Sciences Today     2016-07-19

Designed to promote exchanges and foster a new generation of scholars, a three-week visiting program for young Sinologists was officially launched on July 6 at the National Library of China in Beijing.

Co-sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), the program brings together 31 Sinologists from 26 countries, including the United States, Australia, France, Japan and South Africa.

CASS Vice-President Zhang Jiang welcomed the visiting scholars on behalf of the academy in his opening address. CASS will draw on its resources as the nation’s premier humanities and social sciences research institution to organize a variety of activities that will have practical value for participants in the program, Zhang said.

If people around the world, especially the younger generation, can gain a deeper and unbiased understanding of one another, there will be fewer global problems, said Ding Wei, vice-minister of culture.

The program provides young Sinologists with first-hand experience of authentic Chinese culture while building a bridge between the East and the West and connecting China with the world, Ding said.

Representatives from six countries, including the United States, Sri Lanka, Italy and Brazil, shared their stories in China.

Geoffrey Sant from the United States shared humorous anecdotes about his life in China, expressing his deep love for the Chinese language as well as a strong desire to spread Chinese culture in his home country.

Brazilian graduate student Lucia Anderson said she has developed a fondness for China during the time she spent there. A volunteer at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and former staff member at the Xinhua News Agency, she is now pursuing her doctorate degree at the Campinas State University of Brazil and specializing in the relationship between China and Brazil.

Manya Koetse from the Netherlands has found a home away from home in China. Showing her love for the country through videos, she said, “Being a Sinologist is not only my occupation, but also satisfies my passion. I have become part of China and vice versa.”

Sinologists attending the program will touch upon a variety of areas, including literature, history, philosophy, arts, language, politics, modern society and international relations. They will take intensive classes for three days in Beijing before going to partner institutions like CASS, the Chinese National Academy of Arts, Tsinghua University, Beijing Language and Culture University, and Beijing Foreign Studies University, where they will take part in seminars.

The sponsors of the program will also hold activities that will permit Sinologists to experience Chinese cultural heritage. In addition to Beijing, the program will take the young scholars to Shanghai and Xi’an, capital of Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province.

Launched in 2014 by the ministry and CASS, the program is an academic communication project for young Sinologists. It aims to promote cultural exchanges between China and foreign countries, help Sinologists of different countries acquire a deep, objective understanding of China’s history, culture and contemporary development, and transmit Chinese culture and values across the world.

Editor: Ma Yuhong

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