On June 3rd, 2017, the twelfth International Cultural Festival of Jilin University kicked off on the Mayflower Square of the Central Campus. This event was organized by over 1,000 international students from 41 countries. It was attended by around 5,000 faculty members and students and was greatly supported by the Office of Foreign Affairs of the Municipal Government of Changchun.
What distinguished this year’s festival most from the previous ones is that over a thousand citizens joined it. Also we invited over 30 teachers from the Photography Association of Retirees of Jilin University. This enabled us to spread the culture of our university to the society and reached people of all age groups including the elderly and children. Cultural exchanges between the university and the society have been strengthened. This cultural festival is also one of our college’s important contributions to the 2017 graduation celebrations. The hope is that students can experience diverse cultures from all around the world before they graduate.
Chen Gang, Executive Vice President of Jilin University, and Qi Guohua, Director-General of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Government of Changchun Municipality, attended the event and delivered speeches. Executive Vice President Chen Gang first thanked the Chinese and foreign students that organized this event as well as the municipal Office of Foreign Affairs that had long been supporting the international students of Jilin University. He also said that Jilin University was committed to carrying out events involving international students so that they would feel the amicability of Chinese people and feel closer to them in a familial atmosphere. At last, Vice President Chen Fang expressed his hope that the cultural festival could be an opportunity to boost exchanges, mutual understanding and friendship between China and the rest of the world. Qi Guohua, Director-General of the Office of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Government of Changchun Municipality, said that he was very impressed by the diverse cultural festival. He promised more support to activities involving international students. He said that we should strive to increase the scale of the event and reach out to more foreign media so that the greater publicity would give more parents of international students the chance to see the wonderful life of their children in China. Li Meihua, Dean of College of International Education of Jilin University, chaired the inauguration ceremony.
This year’s International Cultural Festival is composed of six parts, signature on the red carpet, cultural display, artistic performances, games and interaction, food sharing and summer party. In gorgeous clothes, international students demonstrated to faculties, students and the many local residents present their own country’s natural landscape, history and culture and customs. Signature on the red carpet was popular with students who wrote “I love China and I love Jilin University” to express their zealous feelings. Handsome boys and beautiful girls from many countries including Mongolia, Myanmar, Palestine, Ukraine and India presented brilliant performances of singing and dancing, the cheers and applause for which led the atmosphere to a climax. The delicious food made by international students also made the mouth of visitors water. The date palms, fruit juices and samosas from Arab, the sweet bread, milk tea and fat choy (black moss) with Yemeni characteristics and the small potato appetizer from Nepal were all very popular. A food-loving Chinese student described the food she tasted like this: “I have tasted foods of many countries. Based on my experience, Japanese and Korean foods are delicate, and European food is quite special. This is the first time that I have eaten Arabian food. It is a novel experience for me. At last I had German dark beer. Life is so wonderful!” The spirited Chinese students went around amid all the “countries” with mini-passports in their hands. Even the summer rain did not dampen their enthusiasm. 3,000 mini passports were all taken by them within just four hours. A Chinese student that visited all countries’ display zones with great interest said: “With the mini-passport in hand, I went to all zones. For example, I learned about the way Somalians play their own country’s unique drum. African students are lively and enthusiastic, just like their culture, and they are indeed talented in singing and dancing ”
Rojpibulstit Pimpaka, a Thai student, participated in the cultural festival for the second time this year. She said: “This International Cultural Festival gives us the chance to make friends with Chinese people. The university hosts all kinds of activities every year, in which we can present our motherland. They are opportunities that we should treasure.” The platform of the International Cultural Festival enables international students to make more Chinese friends; it also creates more opportunities for Chinese students to learn about cultures of other countries. We will host more activities like this to promote interactions and exchanges between China and other countries.