The eleventh United Nations Chinese Language Day fell on 20 April 2020. Though offline activities were affected by the pandemic, various online celebrations were held by the Chinese Language and Culture Centers, overseas Chinese organizations, Chinese language institutes and Confucius Institutes around the world.
Luana Cini, a student from the Confucius Institute at the University of Malta, was invited to a video interview by the Morning News of Television Malta (TVM) on 20 April local time.
Luana Cini is a junior majoring in Chinese at the Confucius Institute at the University of Malta. In the interview, Luana mentioned that she had always felt a special connection with China for as long as she could remember because her family always loved and respected China and Chinese culture, which naturally led her to study Chinese.
Luana also said that she took up learning Chinese five years ago with a strong passion for Chinese culture and language, especially for Chinese literature and characters. She said, "My first paper was about ancient Chinese literature, and I’m going to write a paper on modern Chinese literature... I love Chinese as much as I love my mother tongue."
The host also asked Luana to give her take on the varying opinions about Chinese people and Chinese online. She replied in a serious and firm manner, "I've been to China more than once and what I saw was nothing like what they said. I have noticed all sorts of false statements and prejudices against China on social media, which I strongly oppose. I will always support and love China.”
At the end of the interview, Luana said that many of her friends found Chinese characters as beautiful as an art and yet they were intimidated by those complex strokes. She encouraged everyone not to give up learning Chinese just at the thought of how difficult Chinese characters were and to study in China if opportunities arise so as to learn about the real China and Chinese culture.
written by: Cai Xiaoxiao, a Chinese language teacher at the Confucius Institute at the University of Malta
Photo contributed by: Luana Cini, an undergraduate student of Chinese at the University of Malta