WASHINGTON: Hundreds of Chinese & American students performed traditional Chinese music, folk songs and dances at the John F Kennedy Centre for the Performing Arts here evening to celebrate the Spring Festival or the Chinese Lunar New Year.
Student ensembles from Tsinghua University High School, Zhongguancun No. 3 Primary School, Chengdu Yulin Primary School, the American Chinese School, and a few other schools joined the gala, which is also an international campus arts festival. Wang Dongyu, a Peking Opera singer from Tsinghua University High School, told local news agency that she is mostly excited about the performance despite feeling a little nervous.
“It’s such a grand stage, I am so proud to present traditional Peking Opera to American audiences,” Wang said. Hu Jun, a conductor, and composer of the school’s Golden Sail Symphony Orchestra said since the group’s debut in the United States in 2013, he has seen an increasing understanding of traditional Chinese music among U.S. audiences.
“At first they were just curious, and later on, they would ask us questions, and gradually know more about it, and some of them began to like it more,” Hu said. Hu’s orchestra also performed the theme song of “Mission Impossible” with traditional Chinese instruments, which was intriguing for many members of the audience, especially young Americans. “Young people can bond over music. Through constant music communication among the young, the friendship between China and the United States will grow deeper,” Hu said.
The gala also included programs from some Chinese artists and troupes, as well as a Russian dance ensemble. The Kennedy Center has been celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year with various activities. The Guangdong National Orchestra Ensemble and Guangdong Arts Troupe performed at the center on Thursday and Friday respectively, and a Chinese New Year Family Day on Saturday, featuring traditional Chinese arts and crafts, attracted over 7,000 people.
Int’l Mother Language Day being observed worldwide
JAMSHORO: Mehran University of Engineering and Technology (MUET)’s English Language Development Center (ELDC) had organized an event here Thursday celebrating International Mother Language Day.
Conspicuous among others there were Professor Dr. Abdul Sami Qureshi Dean Faculty of Science and Humanities (Chief Guest), Dr. Habibullah Pathan Director ELDC MUET and Assistant Professor Dr. Shumaila Memon. This year’s theme is Indigenous languages matter for development, peacebuilding, and reconciliation. According to linguist Dr. Amir Zaheer Bhatti, the objective behind observing mother language day was to preserve and promote local culture and lingua. He called upon the government to link monetary benefits with local languages of Pakistan so that their scholars can get better jobs.
International Language Day is being observed worldwide today to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism. In 1999, UNESCO recognized Feb. 21 in a resolution as International Mother Language Day to honor the Bengali demonstrations in 1952 in then-East Pakistan – which later became Bangladesh – against the use of Urdu as the sole national language.
The Bengali Language Movement started in 1952 and after a long struggle, in 1956 the central government of then-Pakistan accepted Bengali as one of the state languages of the country. In the same resolution, the General Assembly declared 2008 as the International Year of Languages, to promote unity in diversity and international understanding, through multilingualism and multiculturalism.
The UN made 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages under the theme of “Matter for development, peace-building, and reconciliation”. At least 43 percent of the approximately 6,000 languages spoken in the world are endangered, according to the UN report “Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger”.
“Every two weeks a language disappears, taking with it an entire cultural and intellectual heritage,” according to another UN statement. “When languages fade, so does the world’s rich tapestry of cultural diversity. Opportunities, traditions, memory, unique modes of thinking and expression – valuable resources for ensuring a better future — are also lost,” it read.
Extinct languages also threaten linguistic diversity. Nearly 40 percent of the world population does not receive education in their mother tongue, according to the UN. “Progress is being made in mother tongue-based multilingual education with a growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life,” the UN added.
AIOU introduces academic programs for overseas Pakistanis
ISLAMABAD: Allama Iqbal Open University has introduced some academic programs for overseas Pakistanis, including those living in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Bahrain, and the USA.
The programs include Allisan-ul-Arabi (Basic Arabic Course), Arabic Bol Chall, Secondary School Certificate (Matric), Higher Secondary School Certificate (FA, I.com), Bachelor Programs (BA General Group, B.Com, B.A Mass Communication and BA Library Science), B.Ed (1.5 years), MBA (Commonwealth of Learning), Dars-i-Nizami and Short Term Courses.
The interested Pakistanis have been asked to enroll themselves in the on-going admission (Spring,2019), that will continue till March 5.
Admission forms and prospectus for these programs could be downloaded from the University’s website: http://del.aiou.edu.pk
Yellow Vest boxer incarcerated for a year!
PARIS: An ex-boxer who became a hero to some of France’s “yellow vest” protesters after beating up police officers during a demonstration was convicted on Wednesday and given a one-year prison term.
Christophe Dettinger, a former national light-heavyweight champion, was caught on camera on 5 January throwing a flurry of punches at an officer during clashes on a footbridge over the river Seine in Paris.
Dettinger, 37, has been in custody since turning himself in after the attack. He appeared before a packed courtroom Wednesday looking tired, with a thin mustache and his hair cut short.
Ignoring prosecution calls for a significantly heavier sentence, the judge gave Dettinger open-prison terms which would allow him to work during the day.
Footage of the incident, which has been played repeatedly on TV and social media, was shown again in court with Dettinger, who is nearly two meters tall (6 foot 3 inches), seen punching one policeman then kicking another on the ground.
The married father-of-three, who had no previous convictions, apologized for his actions. “I wanted to stop an injustice but I ended up creating another,” Dettinger told the court.
He expressed remorse for his “mistake” which he said was sparked by anger at the “violence” used against demonstrators.
The yellow vest movement – named after the high-visibility safety vests worn by activists – started over fuel tax hikes and quickly grew into a broader rebellion against the economic policies and leadership style of President Emmanuel Macron.
The number of people taking part in weekly protests has fallen significantly since the start of the year, but the heat has not gone out of the movement, with demonstrations regularly ending in rioting.
“I see police hitting the yellow vests protesters with truncheons — I don’t understand. I see a woman on the ground, someone kicks her and raises a truncheon and that’s when I threw myself at the policeman and hit him,” Dettinger explained calmly on Wednesday.
Despite his apology, the prosecutor called for a three-year sentence, with one year suspended. Another judge is set to determine the exact terms of the prison sentence next week. Dettinger also received an 18-month suspended sentence, is banned from visiting Paris for six months and must pay his two victims sums of 2,000 and 3,000 euros ($2,250 and $3,400).