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Cultural exchanges bring Chinese, Hungarians closer

Source:Xinhua 2024-05-08

Yang Chao (R), charge d'affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Hungary, presents a book to Zsuzsanna Erdelyi, head of Hungarian-Chinese bilingual school, at the school in Budapest, Hungary, Feb. 24, 2023. (Xinhua/Lian Yi)

BUDAPEST/BEIJING, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Wang Yue, deputy principal and Chinese teacher at the Hungarian-Chinese Bilingual School, said Chinese President Xi Jinping's reply to a letter from students of the Hungarian-Chinese bilingual school greatly inspired students. More of them now have a stronger enthusiasm to learn Chinese and to study in China.

Erneszt Sandor Durand, a 12th-grade student of the school, has been to many Chinese cities such as Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Beijing. As China's importance in the world economy is increasing, so is the importance of learning Chinese, he said, adding that he plans to further his studies at universities in Beijing in the future.

Dorina Inges, also a student of the school, said she is quite fascinated with the Chinese culture. She can play guzheng, a traditional Chinese musical instrument, and dance traditional Chinese folk dances.

The growing popularity of the Chinese language and culture among the Hungarians also contributes to the school's continuous development over the past two decades. Initially, most students were from Chinese families living and working in Hungary. Currently, the school has 12 grades and 20 classes with more than 530 students, with the majority being native Hungarians.

"The bilingual school far exceeds traditional economic, cooperative and other types of relations," former Hungarian Prime Minister Peter Medgyessy told Xinhua. "It actually encompasses the opportunity for interpersonal connections, the chance for people to get to know each other, to learn and recognize each other's culture and civilization, and to embrace these, encouraging people to be open, curious, and objective in such matters."

A Chinese teacher instructs students on Chinese calligraphy at the Hungarian-Chinese bilingual school in Budapest, Hungary, Feb. 24, 2023. (Xinhua/Lian Yi)

Guo Jiaming, former deputy principal of the school, told Xinhua that the school's development reflects the good momentum of strengthening China-Hungary relations and growing exchanges between the two peoples.

Presently, there are five Confucius Institutes in Hungary, and 12 universities in China offer opportunities to learn the Hungarian language.

The Chinese language has been incorporated into Hungary's national education system and has become one of the subjects in the university entrance examination. The cultural centers set up by both sides are also an important platform for cultural exchanges.

"It is important to the relations of the two countries to have people who speak both languages well," said Zsuzsanna Erdelyi, principal of the school, expressing her hope to see more intercultural exchanges to promote understanding and friendship between the two peoples. 

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