by Marwa Yahya
ISMAILIA, Egypt, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Egyptian audience, mainly students, have enjoyed the Chinese Spring Festival celebrations held by the Confucius Institute of Suez Canal University northeast of the capital Cairo.
The audience gave warm cheers when the Chinese dancers, who are mainly professors at the university, performed shows, including Chinese Kungfu and traditional music.
Nora Mahmoud, a student, was very happy to receive a certificate of honor for the cleanest class.
"During the Spring Festival, we used to clean our classrooms and remove the dust to kick the devil souls and bad luck out of the place," said Mahmoud.
Commenting on the celebrations, she said either the students learning Chinese or the other students felt very happy.
Mahmoud said that it is a very good opportunity to get integrated in the Chinese culture and have good memories with her friends.
"The Chinese staff has succeeded in making us an indispensable part of their celebrations," she added.
On the stage of the theatre, which was full of spectators with its corridors fully decorated with beautiful red lantern and balloons, stood a Chinese professor who was giving gift envelops with money.
"I introduced myself, then wished my professor health and happy life, and wished my friends success in their future careers," said Mona Samy, a 19-year-old student after receiving her gift.
Samy said receiving the money gifts reminded her of her grandfather who has been doing the same in the Egyptian feasts when she was young.
"The more I got involved in the Chinese activities, the more I feel our two cultures have much in common,'' Samy added.
Outside the theater, other activities of paper cutting, drawing on lantern, and sharing Chinese food were presented.
Nourhan Salah, a student majoring in art, surprised her friends with a very beautiful heart after sophisticated drawing and cutting.
"It was not difficult for me because I love drawing, and the Chinese drawings and paintings are always a challenge for me," she added, while her friends are taking photos for her piece of art.
She said that she felt part of the Chinese life during the festivals thanks to her Chinese friends.
Atef Aboul-Nour, president of the Suez Canal University, said the university topped Egypt in cooperation with the Chinese side, with its large number of students studying the Chinese language and traveling to China for scholarships.
He hailed the Confucius Institute plays an important role in promoting the exchange of cultural cooperation.
The two Chinese and Egyptian cultures are similar, he highlighted, reiterating how the Chinese side always provides help to them.
The culture has been a tool for connecting the people from both countries, who share old civilizations, he added.
"The Chinese culture is the other face of the Arab culture, because both belong to the east," added Aboul-Nour.
The professor added that two protocols of cooperation will be signed next week with two top Chinese universities over the exchange of teachers and equipment.