LIFE / CULTURE
Students read poetry to mark Mid-Autumn Festival in Cairo
Published: Sep 12, 2022 07:09 PM
The China Cultural Center in Cairo celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival over the weekend in a festive atmosphere that climaxed with the Egyptian students' performances for a Chinese poetry recitation contest.

Celebrating family reunions and sights of the full moon, the Mid-Autumn Festival is marked on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar.

During the evening, the center's yard was converted into a contest venue, where walls and trees decorated in red lighting brimmed it with a joyous mood.

Rivaling Egyptian students expressively interpreted their choice of Chinese poems against background videos themed on Chinese culture and created by respective contenders to elaborate stage effects.

Ten students were awarded prizes, and the top winner went to Nada Hosny, a student from the Al-Alsun Faculty at Suez Canal University in Ismailia Province who performed a poem written by late Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

"My ambition is to get a scholarship to travel to China and then study for a master's degree when I come back. I dream of becoming a Chinese teacher," Hosny told the Xinhua News Agency.

Giving credit to her professors for her fluency in Chinese, Hosny said she decided to study Chinese because she "found that the Chinese language is one of the best for the job market."

Hosny's professor Sheng Yusi, also goes by "Salma" in Arabic, told Xinhua during the event that she was very proud that her student made it to the top in the contest and felt that her efforts were rewarded.

"We teach foreign students the Chinese language and also convey Chinese culture to them. We exchange our cultures," Salma said in fluent Arabic.

The ceremony was inaugurated by Zhang Tao, charge d'affaires of the Chinese embassy in Egypt, with the aim of inviting more "Egyptian friends" to learn about the Chinese culture.

For his part, Yang Ronghao, cultural counselor of the Chinese embassy and director of the China Cultural Center in Cairo, said he was impressed by the improvements of the students' language skills and their understanding of Chinese poetry.

Chinese has become one of the most wanted languages among Egyptian learners, according to Hassan Ragab, dean of Al-Alsun Faculty at the Suez Canal University and director of Confucius Institute at the university.

"I believe this has to do with China's economic rise and cultural influence, the distinguished Egyptian-Chinese relations and the strategic ties between Egypt and China," Ragab told Xinhua.