Dr. Nelly Ng, chair of Canadian Fund for International Understanding through Culture. (Photo by Xinhuanet/Zhang Bin)
By Zhang Dan, Peng Ying
BEIJING, May 2 (Xinhuanet) -- Arts and culture are a colorful thread that connects people, helps people better know each other, and makes the world a better place to live in, said Dr. Nelly Ng, chair of Canadian Fund for International Understanding through Culture.
Nelly Ng, or Wu Yongguang in Mandarin, is a medical doctor, but also a well-known volunteer in Canada for her devotion to cultural exchanges.
She made the remarks during a recent interview with Xinhuanet on this year’s “Meet in Beijing” Arts Festival.
The festival has been held annually in the capital of China since 2000, and Canada is the featured country this year.
The distinct feature of this year’s festival is to highlight the representative Canadian programs that include local, instrumental, contemporary, classical and modern elements, she said.
While talking about getting to know arts and culture, Nelly Ng said it is an enlightening learning experience for her.
"I truly believe that arts and culture is the main thread that weaves into the daily lives of all of us, and it is this colorful thread that connects us all, helps us better know each other, and makes the world that we live in a better place for us all,” she said.
Nelly Ng said her devotion to the promotion of Chinese culture started with her first trip to China, to the Three Gorges area, in 1992.
"I was literally struck and awed to see the magnificent Chinese treasures created thousands of years ago. They not only mark mankind’s achievements in history, but also reflect the creativity and ingenuity of mankind. They are treasures of the world and they are cultural heritage,” she recalled her feelings about the landscape and scenery she witnessed during the trip.
She said the pursuit of learning more about Chinese culture instilled passion in her and the entrenched passion drove her forward in promoting the understanding of different cultures.
In terms of the cultural exchanges between China and Canada, Nelly Ng said trust and support by donors, volunteers, and different levels of government in Canada and China encouraged her to move forward.
She called on bringing people of the two countries together to engage in conversation and come up with sparkling ideas for further development of the cultural exchanges.
Nelly Ng also shed light on the role of the cultural exchanges in boosting the overall ties between China and Canada.
Fostering relationships through culture is the essence of improving the relations between the people of Canada and China, she said.
And when people are brought closer together, they will know the similarities and differences in how things work in each country and learn to respect one another, thus fostering understanding and cultivating collaboration, she said.
She also highlighted the importance of retaining the culture identity of the people.
Taking people living in China’s remote areas as an example, she said, “when they retain their culture identity, they also embrace modernity and changes, and I think that makes people proud.”
While talking about her plan for the future, Nelly said she expected to create more opportunities for people to engage in dialogues to cultivate understanding, and looked forward to seeing more people take the path of promoting understanding and fostering relationship through culture.