cultural exchange

German Choir To Bridge China-Germany Friendship

Peng Liyuan, wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping recently welcomed the choir in Beijing.

German Choir to bridge German Chinese friendship. Music Press Asia

As China and Europe have resumed exchanges and dialogue at all levels since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of students and teachers from the Chinese Choir of Burg Gymnasium, a German high school, restarted cultural exchanges with China in March.

Peng Liyuan, the wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, warmly welcomed them in Beijing last week.

After learning about their studies and experiences over the past years, Peng praised them for speaking better Mandarin and encouraged them to share their experiences and feelings about China with their families and friends after returning home, and become a new generation of envoys for China-Germany friendship.

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Over the past decade of conveying friendship through songs, Peng expressed hope that it can continue to act as a bridge for cultural exchanges between the two countries.

She also encouraged students to keep using music to unlock a new world of Chinese language and experience the charm of Chinese culture through songs.

Peng’s interactions with Burg Gymnasium

Peng’s story with the choir and the German school dates back to 2014, when she joined a Chinese class at the school during Xi’s state visit to Germany.

The school has been offering Chinese language courses since 1994. During the 2014 visit, the students asked Peng how to improve their Mandarin pronunciation. She recommended that they sing Chinese songs.

Peng Liyuan shakes hands with the Chinese Choir of Burg Gymnasium rep. Music Press Asia
[Peng Liyuan, the wife of Chinese President Xi Jinping, shakes hands with a student representative from the Chinese Choir of Burg Gymnasium, Beijing, China, March 28, 2024. /Xinhua]

Two years later, Peng met with the teachers and students of the school in Beijing. In 2021, as the pandemic was ravaging the world, she wrote a letter to the students and teachers in which she invited them to visit China for exchange and study after the pandemic, and called on them to contribute to strengthening the friendship between the people of China and Germany, especially young people.

Since the founding of the choir in 2014, it has appeared on many important diplomatic occasions between China and Germany and has put on performances in Chinese.

Strong bonds between China, Germany

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Germany in 1972, a wide range of cultural exchanges between the two countries in education, science and technology, culture, media, youth and women have developed.

The two countries signed the Agreement on Cultural Exchange in 1979. Since then, frequent activities have been conducted in cultural contacts, artistic expositions and commercial performances.

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For example, the Chinese Culture Center opened in Berlin in 2008, providing a window for exchanges and mutual understanding. In 2012, China and Germany agreed to establish the China-EU High-level People-to-people Exchange and Dialogue Mechanism. During the 2012-2013 Chinese Culture Year, cultural activities were held in more than 40 cities in Germany.

The 2013 and 2014 were named the China-Germany Language Year. In 2016, China also announced the Sino-German Youth Exchange Year. In 2016, a high-level cultural exchange collaboration by China and Germany was launched.

Source: CGTN

[Cover image caption: Peng Liyuan meets with student representatives of the Chinese Choir of the Burg Gymnasium at Beijing No.35 High School in Beijing, capital of China, March 28, 2024. /Xinhua]

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