Feature: Namibian students drum up for learning Chinese culture, language

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-27 22:38:23|Editor: Zhou Xin
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WINDHOEK, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- At a Namibian university festival on a mid-August morning, Keith Musonga, a 26-year-old Namibian student, was busy taking photos, together with other photographers. But later he held a handphone, speaking the Chinese language instead of his mother tongue.

Performers, wearing Namibia's national dress at the event, looked at Keith with curiosity when he took photos of them. Keith explained to them that he was doing a live webcast.

Keith majored in Portuguese at the University of Namibia (UNAM). He went to the Confucius Institute there to take Chinese language courses in February after he started learning Chinese last year.

"I like China's culture, hope to go to China to study, to pursue graduate study, " said Keith.X "I know seven languages, such as English, French and Spanish, as well as computer programming," he said in Chinese.

Simply after a semester, Keith passed the level 3 examination of HSK, Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi or the Chinese Proficiency Test. Representing the UNAM Confucius Institute, he went to China in June to participate in the 16th Chinese Bridge Competition and won an award for excellence and a scholarship from the Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) to study in China.

The HSK, designed and developed by the HSK Center of Beijing Language and Culture University, is one of the most important academic testing systems in relation to Chinese language study around the world.

The Confucius Institute offered an opportunity to learn the Chinese language and culture for those Namibians who hope to study or do business in China, said Lazarus Hangula, executive chancellor of UNAM.

"If people master the Chinese language, they open a marvelous world, can discover China, understand China," he said.

The UNAM Confucius Institute was jointly founded by the UNAM and a Chinese university in 2013. It currently has eight teachers and 1,842 students.

The Chinese language study has become a program of UNAM, and the UNAM Confucius Institute not only offers a chance to study the Chinese language to university students, but also provides Chinese language training for local banks and companies that need staff who understand Chinese, said Zhang Fan, co-director of the institute.

Kornelius Nghipanfulwa, a local tour guide who has a Chinese name Liu Pan, took the evening courses of the UNAM Confucius Institute in February. He took part in the reception work when Jack Ma (Ma Yun), the CEO of China's e-commerce giant of Alibaba, visited Namibia in July.

"The Chinese language is really very important, and very useful as well," he said, "More and more Chinese begin to know Namibia and come here. It is a good thing for travel agencies."

With increasing exchanges in various fields between China and Namibia, more and more Namibian students begin to learn the Chinese language.

Students in Namibia's secondary schools and primary schools were very keen to learn Chinese, and some of them even can speak Chinese more fluently than the students of the UNAM Confucius Institute, Zhang said.

"My purpose of learning the Chinese language is to know more about Chinese culture, so that I have a chance to go to China to study," said Maem Damiel, a Grade 11 student at Highline Secondary School located in Windheok.

"Learning the Chinese language can light up my dream and obtain a chance to see the outside world," said Damiel.