ADDIS ABABA, April 20 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Language Day was marked on Friday on the premises of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa.
The event organized by UNECA in collaboration with the Chinese Mission to the African Union (AU) has featured remarks by officials, presentation on Chinese culture, exhibition, Kung Fu performance, traditional Chinese musical instrument performance and Chinese tea ceremony, among others.
Established by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) in 2010, the Chinese Language Day is marked on April 20, aiming at celebrating multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization.
In his opening remarks, Carlos Hadaad, Director of Division of Administration at UNECA, said the commemoration is a demonstration of the strong appreciation for the Chinese language, and he hailed China's role in the transformation of the African continent.
"The newly established partnership with the mission of China is exemplary because it demonstrates how much we have accomplished together to promote not only multilingualism of Chinese language but other aspects of Chinese culture as reflected in our program today," he said.
"We are happy about the partnership with the Chinese mission and hope that from this initial activity we can develop other initiatives that foster multilingualism; this could include teaming up with Confucius Institute in Addis Ababa University to even teach Chinese language to the UN staff in Ethiopia," he added.
Speaking on his part, Cheng Xufeng, Minister-Counsellor of the Chinese Mission to AU, said such ceremonies help create diverse, inclusive and harmonious world.
"Since the founding of the People's Republic of China, cultural exchange has become one of the most important areas of cooperation between China and Africa," he said. "These exchanges not only promote mutual understanding and common development of all cultures, but also help create a diverse, inclusive and harmonious world."
Cheng noted that such events help the participants learn and experience Chinese language and culture in a relaxing way.
"It's also my hope that the Chinese Language Day will become an annual event at the UNECA so that more friends will join us," he said.
He also stated that his Mission is ready to continue its close cooperation with the UNECA and other partners in deepening economic, social and cultural exchanges between China and Africa.
Yang Ying, Director of Confucius Institute at Addis Ababa University, said the event serves good platform to introduce the Chinese culture in terms of the Chinese calligraphy, foods, and performances.
The six UN languages include Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and Spanish.
April 20 was chosen as the Chinese Language Day to pay tribute to Cangjie, a mythical figure claimed to have invented Chinese characters.