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Hungarian-Chinese school opens doors to language and culture

By Lei Xiaoxun | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2017-06-20 17:14

Vice-Premier Liu Yandong visits the Hungarian-Chinese Bilingual School in Budapest, June 19, 2017. [Photo by Lei Xiaoxun/chinadaily.com.cn]

Before granting Confucius Classroom status to the bilingual school, Liu and other attendees have reflected upon the development and collective endeavors made by Hungarian Mandarin-learning and teaching institutions.

Confucius Classrooms refer to local hubs and teaching facilities where new methods are offered for Chinese language teaching and cultural learning.

There are four Confucius Schools in Hungary, with 3,800 registered students. Last year alone, the four institutes organized 240 events to help the Hungarian population experience the charm of Chinese traditions and culture, attracting more than 103,000 people.

"All Confucius institutes are supposed to find their own voice and they have to localize themselves," said Richard Mohr, director of the Confucius Institute at University of Szeged.

"We are engaged in tourism. That means we are engaging in classes in Chinese, for tourist places, tourist service providers," he said. "We are translating menus into Chinese, and for all service providers, we are helping them to make them more China company."

From a Chinese perspective, Mohr's colleague Zhang Lin, the Chinese director of Confucius institute at the University of Szeged, said it is quite a meaningful job for Chinese citizens to work in such institutions.

"We are always talking about telling stories, Chinese stories. And they [Hungarians] want to learn our stories as we are the teachers and volunteers," Zhang said.

The China-led Belt and Road Initiative has offered tremendous developmental momentum for Confucius institutions. Zhang said such advantages must be seized.

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