Deputy Education Minister for Administration, Aagon F. Tingba, and University of Liberia vice president for Administration, Weade Kobbah Wureh, said they are excited over performances of Liberian students learning the Chinese language at the Confucius Institute at the University of Liberia.
In separate interviews following exhibitions by both the students and Chinese Cultural Troupe visiting Liberia, Minister Tingba said he was very impressed with the performances of the Liberian students, noting that it moves him to decide to learn the Chinese language.
He said Chinese is a language just reaching Liberians through bilateral relations between China and Africa, and for Liberians to speak and sing in the language was quite laudable.
He said Liberians are talented people as evidenced by performances of the Chinese language students, and therefore called on other Liberians to make use of the existing opportunity to learn foreign languages of their choice.
“When one speaks more than one language, it serves as a great opportunity because he/she will have access to the world, especially languages including French, Chinese and Spanish,” he said.
For Madam Kobbah-Wureh, performances by the Liberian students in Chinese are a clear manifestation that many good and talented students were studying at the UL against the activities of the few “‘trouble shooters’ there are overwhelming the good product of the institution.”
She, like Minister Tingba, said Chinese is just adding to French at the UL; and believing that Liberians are talented in understanding and speaking foreign languages, they will make better use of them.
Professor Kobbah-Wureh also extended gratitude to the Chinese government for the cultural exchange between Liberia and the Asian country, recounting many benefits including academic complexes and many equipments provided to the UL.
The occasion yesterday marked the cultural performance in commemoration of Chinese New Year festival.
The program was organized by the Confucius Institute which allowed Chinese students to come and share with their Liberian counterparts.
The Liberian students recited poems in Chinese and sang songs, while the Chinese students on the other hand, recited poems, sang songs and performed traditional dances and Kung Fu martial arts – a popular boxing exercise and hand to hand combat of the Chinese.
The audience, excited by performances of the two groups, shouted: “We are truly seeing what the Chinese do in movies; this is not a camera trick now.”
Earlier, Chinese Ambassador to Liberia, Zhang Yue said cultural interactions like the one yesterday will enhance friendship, mutual understanding and respect that will contribute to sustenance of cooperative partnership between the two countries.
He added that it will also strengthen ties between youths of the two countries since the cultural artists visiting Liberia are equally university students.
Ambassador Zhang said the presence of the Chinese students in Liberia will also bring joy to Liberians in commemoration of the Chinese Spring Festive Season.
Ambassador Zhang said the Confucius Institute has done well by creating opportunities for about 300 students to learn Chinese. He said 46 slots are available at the Chinese Embassy for this year alone.
He then urged Liberian students learning Chinese to serve as ambassadors of the friendship existing between Liberia and China.
The visiting Chinese cultural troupe and Liberian students are also expected to perform at the Monrovia City Hall today, Tuesday, and that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Vice President Joseph Boakai are expected to attend with other government officials.