China-Kyrgyzstan cultural exchanges promote bilateral friendship

By Liu Zhonghua, Xiao Xinxin, Xie Yahong from People’s Daily

Visitors learn papercutting, an intangible cultural heritage of China in the Chinese Library at Bishkek Humanities University. (Photo by Han Bingchen/People’s Daily)
On June 10, an inauguration ceremony of a Chinese Library – a project promoting cultural exchanges hosted by Chinese government, was held at Bishkek Humanities University, Kyrgyzstan, presenting a feast  for hundreds of Kyrgyz visitors.
The performance of Chinese intangible cultural heritage at the event, such as Kunqu Opera, Kouji (oral stunts), traditional Chinese instrument Guzheng, and face-changing of Sichuan Opera, further deepened Kyrgyz people’s understanding of Chinese culture.
Traditional Kyrgyz dancing was also performed in the activity, enhancing the two-way art exchanges and promoting the interaction between the two cultures.
The performance was wonderful, said Gulmira Kudaiberdieva, Minister of Education and Science of Kyrgyzstan, expressing that it was a precious experience, and has brought the peoples of the two countries closer to each other’s culture. 
In recent years, with increasingly enhanced cooperation on the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples have been gradually intensified, Kudaiberdieva told People’s Daily.
According to the minister, she has witnessed Kyrgyz people’s constantly growing enthusiasm for Chinese culture in the two countries’ bilateral cultural exchanges and cooperation, especially in the education sector.
Kyrgyz people’s curiosity for Chinese culture has turned into appreciation, Kudaiberdieva said, adding that more and more young people in her country are learning Chinese. “It is helpful for their personal development and the development of Kyrgyzstan as well.
The Chinese Library is a signature project of China’s State Council Information Office that introduces China to foreign countries and promotes cultural exchanges. It is usually established in the national libraries and major universities of the destination countries.
The Chinese Library at BHU is the fourteenth and also by far the largest Chinese Library.
“The Chinese Library is a wonderful and precious gift for BHU,” said president of the university, noting that it has opened a window for Kyrgyz young people to learn Chinese culture.
The president stressed that the Chinese Library is a witness of the joint efforts of China and Kyrgyzstan in boosting people-to-people and cultural cooperation under the BRI.
He hopes that Chinese President Xi Jinping’s upcoming state visit to Kyrgyzstan will further promote bilateral educational cooperation, bring about wider exchanges and cooperation between artists and arts organizations, and help move bilateral people-to-people and cultural exchanges to a new level.  
“As an educator of Chinese language, I’m also promoting the people-to-people bonds between Kyrgyzstan and China”, said Gulzat Isamatova, Director of the Confucius Institute of BHU.
According to statistics, there are 41 Confucius Institutes and 21 Confucius Classrooms in Kyrgyzstan, and about 7,000 students are learning Chinese at the Confucius Institute of BHU, 100 of who go to China for study every year.
Joint construction of the BRI has opened vast space for common development of Kyrgyzstan and China, said Isamatova, adding that Chinese has become an important tool for young people in Kyrgyzstan to achieve greater development.
“I hope to serve as an ambassador to promote cultural exchanges between the two countries and create a better future for the Confucius Institute. I believe President Xi’s upcoming state visit will help intensify bilateral exchanges in various fields such as culture, education, and art, and further consolidate the bilateral friendly ties,” Isamatova noted.

In recent years, BHU has paid increasing attention to the cooperation and exchanges with Chinese universities, and many students of Kyrgyzstan who have been to China love the country, said Roza Turdukeeva, Director of the Scientific Library of BHU, noting that cultural exchanges is significant to the development of bilateral relations between the two countries.

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