Confucius Institute Holds Spring Festival Celebration Gala

Confucius Institute

By Foday Moriba Conteh

During a well-attended ceremony held on Thursday 19th January, 2023 at Taiji Garden, Fourah Bay College, the Confucius Institute Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone,  held its Spring Festival Celebration Gala which is commonly known in English as the ‘Chinese New Year.’

The Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at Fourah Bay College, Professor Jing Man said that in their traditional lunisolar calendars, a year is divided into 24 solar terms and the first one is Lichun: » # which Starts the spring and marks the beginning of the New Year.

She said that the festival was traditionally a time to honor deities as well as ancestors and also a tradition for every family to thoroughly clean their house, in order to sweep away any ill fortune and to make way for incoming good luck.

“With our hope of good fortune, we have successfully established over 20 teaching sites across the country, targeting every level of education, and are now targeting all regions with the University of Makeni (UNIMAK) taking the forefront and next shall be Njala University in Bo, furthering that also through hard work and mutual contributions, they now have the BA Chinese with Honors program at the University of Sierra Leone Fourah Bay College, which will provide our first set of graduates this year,” she revealed.

She told the gathering that they now have Chinese language as a core module for all Year 1 Limkokwing University students, and a core for all language students at the University of Makeni and they have successfully launched the program at the Prince of Wales (POW) Senior Secondary School to provide more options for pupils to continue their tertiary education with a hope for more schools to follow.

The Chinese Director said in addition to their continuous support and provision of Scholarships to students, which has seen hundreds of Sierra Leoneans studying in China since 2012 till date. Recently they have 3 students offering their BA Chinese program in popular Universities in Shanghai, Changsha and Ganzhou, 2 prospective Doctoral candidates, 2 one academic year students, and some students studying for their Master’s degree in China saying they are planning to send more.

On behalf of the institute, he used the opportunity to recognize the support and sponsorship of the Chinese Embassy, Fourah Bay College, the University of Sierra Leone, Institutions hosting  various teaching sites, various Chinese companies and businesses, friends and students for their tireless efforts and continuous support to the Confucius Institute.

She concluded by calling on all to brighten the Confucius Dream, the Chinese dream and to strengthen their China-Sierra Leone friendship, to promote education, adding that this Year of the Rabbit awaits their cooperation and efforts to make it a successful and prosperous one.

Representing the Vice Chancellor and Principal, Fourah Bay College, the Special Assistant to the Vice Chancellor and Principal, Prince A. J. Williams on behalf of the management of the University of Sierra Leone, the Vice Chancellor and Principal extended warmest congratulations to the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Sierra Leone and the entire citizenry of the People’s Republic of China, the Board of Directors and staff of the Confucius Institute here at Fourah Bay College on the celebration of the Chinese Spring festival which also doubles as the Chinese New Year.

He stated that the Confucius Institute has actually been of immense advantage to students and staff of the University of Sierra Leone with a sizeable number of students now communicating well in the Chinese language and more and more students and members of staff as well, are now expressing interest to study the Chinese language.

“The University of Sierra Leone congratulates you on your achievements so far since the establishment of the Confucius Institute in Sierra Leone. The Vice Chancellor and Principal wants me to inform you that the University administration will continue to provide the enabling environment for the Confucius Institute to flourish,” he concluded.

The Deputy Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Sarjoh Aziz-Kamara, pointed out how China and Sierra Leone have had a sustained relationship for over 50 years which he said will continue to depend on educational and cultural exchanges.

He noted that the celebration of Spring Festival by extension the work of the Confucius Institute and the country’s long-standing relationship with China and the diplomatic relations between the two countries have rendered Sierra Leone numerous benefits in the areas of education, health, infrastructure, Agriculture etc.

On his part, the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E Wang Qing, described the Spring Festival Celebration Gala as a very important event.

He said that China and Sierra Leone are time bond friends enduring the past 52 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations and the diplomatic relations between China and Sierra Leone has developed over the years.

H.E Wang Qing described the Confucius Institute at Fourah Bay College as very unique and impressive, adding that as the 4th Confucius Institute in Africa it has developed over the past 10 years into a platform for China-Sierra Leone cultural exchange and cooperation as well as mutual learning and appreciation of various cultures and collaboration.

The Confucius Institute during the ceremony awarded its Outstanding Teaching Sites of which 5 Teaching Sites were awarded which include Fourah Bay College, Armed Forces Technical College, Limkokwing University, Fourah Bay College Junior Secondary School, and Fourah Bay College Primary School. This was also followed by announcement of its Chinese Stars from their various teaching sites and the Spring Festival Cultural Performances.



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