Confucius Institute plays key role in promoting China-Finland cultural exchanges

Xie Cheng China Plus Published: 2017-04-05 08:41:11
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The Confucius Institute at the University of Helsinki in Finland. [Photo: China Plus]

The Confucius Institute at the University of Helsinki in Finland. [Photo: China Plus]

The Confucius Institute, founded at the University of Helsinki in Finland in 2007, has been attracting an increasing number of locals to study the Chinese language and learn about Chinese culture.

As the biggest Chinese language teaching base in Finland, it has been playing an important role in boosting cultural exchanges between China and Finland.

Currently there are over 300 students studying in the institute, which provides courses mainly featuring Chinese language and culture, such as traditional Chinese calligraphy and classical Chinese prose.

A variety of cultural events and activities have also been launched in a bid to deepen cooperation on people-to-people exchange, education and science between the two countries.

Julie Yu-wen Chen, Finnish Director of the Institute and also a professor of Chinese studies, said the institute plays an important part in helping Finnish people get a good knowledge of China.

"The Chinese culture has become increasingly popular in Finland. Many local Finnish actually have scanty knowledge of China due to the far distances between the two countries. But from what I have seen from the students, I can feel that many of them look forward to getting access to the Chinese culture, which is an impetus for them to come to study the courses," said Chen.

She added that the institute will also begin more interdisciplinary studies and academic exchanges with partners from across the world.

"In the coming decade, apart from Chinese language teaching and cultural exchanges, we also expect more academic cooperation. We plan to invite famous Sinologists and other experts on Chinese studies from both China and the rest of the world to Finland, share their academic research with each other, so as to better help Finnish people get to know China's current situation on social and economic development," said Chen.

Speaking of the ongoing visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to the Nordic country, Chen said the visit will further promote bilateral exchanges between the two sides to a new level.

"The visit by President Xi could convey a message to the locals that China attaches great importance to developing relationship with Finland. Since Finnish people have been expecting more communication and exchanges with China, President Xi's visit will further boost their confidence and inspire their enthusiasm on that direction," said Chen.

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