Students from Indonesian eager to learn more about Chinese language and culture

With the development of economic,chinese language learning has becoming more and more popular in the world,now there are some people such as students from Indonesian eager to learn more about Chinese language and culture, some activities were also held to help them learning english better.Red paper lanterns at the gate and along the pathway of a university campus in the eastern part of this capital city lead the way for visitors who wish to attend the first Chinese Culture Festival held here.

Initiated by the city's Chinese community and Indonesian Christian University (UKI), the festival was the first to be held in the city.

The two-day event that kicked off Tuesday would showcase various Chinese traditional customs and culture that include tea ceremony, Chinese calligraphy, the Jiao Zi (dumpling) making, dragon dance, and Chinese martial arts.

The festival would also feature a seminar on Chinese culture, Chinese traditional herbal and healing sessions and various competitions.

University students and outsiders flocked to the campus during the opening of the festival, all anxious to watch and enjoy the activities lined up by organizers.

Liliana, a female student at UKI's Mandarin language education department, said that the festival would expand her knowledge of the Chinese language and culture.

"This event shows our oneness in diversity. It would strengthen our togetherness in the community. Besides that, Mandarin language is now among the official foreign language studies in our higher education academic curriculum," the 21-year- old student told Xinhua on the sidelines of the opening ceremonies.

According to her, since the restoration of diplomatic relations between China and Indonesia, Mandarin is now extensively used in business as well as in other transactions.

In 2005, Indonesia and China have officially declared themselves as strategic partners.

Since then there had been significant improvement in the bilateral relations between the two countries marked by increased trade, frequent reciprocal visits of senior officials, and cultural delegation exchanges.

The use of Mandarin in the business has even become wider after the implementation of ChinaASEAN Free Trade Agreement in early 2010, Liliana said.

"More and more students are now interested in learning Mandarin. Besides that, if you learn Mandarin it would be easier for you to understand Chinese movies," Liliana said.

Another student said that learning Mandarin would be an assurance in getting a job.

Soegihartono, head of UKI Mandarin Language Department, who co- organized the event, said that they planned to hold the festival annually to provide Indonesian students with a better knowledge and understanding of the Chinese culture and traditions.

In 2000, the Indonesian government formally recognized the Chinese ethnic community as a vital partner in nation building.

Soegihartono, who like many Indonesians go by only one name, said that many local Indonesians have studied and finished Mandarin courses over the past decade.

He said that all students studying in Mandarin language department were sent to China in the third year to learn more about the language in the country of origin, adding that the UKI has signed a memorandum of cooperation with China's Fujian Normal University.

According to Soegihartono, many graduates from his department are now teaching Mandarin in several schools and campuses throughout Indonesia.

He expected Mandarin, the language spoken by one-fifth of the world's population, to become one of the major languages in Indonesia.

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