15 Oct 2017
Celebration from October 16 to 22, 2017
Wellington, October 17, 2017
A book written by school children that celebrates Kiwi identity has been translated into Mandarin to celebrate New Zealand Chinese Language Week and encourage a deeper mutual understanding between the countries’ two cultures.
The New Zealand Chinese Language Week Trust (NZCLW) launched its first book, “Flying Kiwis” today (Tuesday, October 17) at Samuel Marsden Collegiate School in Wellington.
Closer bilateral exchange
In a statement read out at the event Ambassador Wang Lutong said: “This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and New Zealand. The people-to-people exchanges between our two countries have continued to develop and produced remarkable achievements in Chinese language teaching and learning. The publication of “Flying Kiwis” indicates the even closer exchanges in languages and the deeper mutual understanding between our two cultures.”
Earlier in the year, the New Zealand Chinese Language Week Trust put out a call to every intermediate and secondary school in the country with a simple brief: they wanted to hear from Kiwi school children about their perception of cultural identity in a creative and imaginative way.
The concept of Kiwi
Through their essays, the 50 authors represented in the book offer a variety of perspectives and interpretations of what it is to be a “Kiwi.”
Some chose to write about sport, their school and family life, and others, local myths and legends. In all cases essays demonstrate Kiwi spirit.
Each essay was carefully edited to preserve the child’s voice and translated into Chinese, with the help of translators from the Confucius Institute in Auckland.
Juliet Gao, Languages Liaison and Teacher of Mandarin and Global Studies at Mission Heights Junior College said students were amazed when it was confirmed that their work would be showcased in an international publication.
Student and essay author, Crystal Sue said that she was proud to be part of this opportunity for students to shine during New Zealand Chinese Language Week and further the cultural exchange between the countries.
Co-chairs of the New Zealand Chinese Language Week Trust Raymond Huo and Jo Coughlan thanked Chinese Education Counsellor Chen Yue and his colleague Sun Yunpeng, saying that their guidance played a pivotal role in helping to get the New Zealand Chinese Language Week charitable trust off the ground; as well as sponsors, especially Hanban for its contribution.
They also acknowledged Higher Education Press, one of the prestigious publishers in China who printed the book; and Nora Yao, director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Auckland, who put together the team responsible for the translation of the essays.
A second book launch will happen on Thursday, October 19 at the Massey University Albany campus.
Eleven schools represented in ‘Flying Kiwis,’ include Mission Heights Junior School,
St Cuthbert’s College, Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School, Maeroa Intermediate School, Aparima College, Tauranga Intermediate School, Kirkwood Intermediate School, King’s School, Roydvale Primary School, Samuel Marsden Collegiate School and Tauriko School.
About the Chinese Language Week
New Zealand Chinese Language Week is 16-22 October 2017. Now in its third year, it is the first such language week in the western world.
The aim of NZCLW is to underpin China and New Zealand’s growing relationship by promoting the need for greater understanding of culture and language between the two countries.
There are a variety of grassroots and public events that highlight and raise awareness of the many opportunities to learn Chinese in New Zealand: whether educational, tourist or business-related, these opportunities are out there for Kiwis who are willing to “have a go.”
“Knowing your nǐ hǎo from your xièxiè” is the focus of New Zealand Chinese Language Week 2017. All Kiwis are encouraged to take part in the “5 days, 5 phrases challenge”. http://www.nzclw.com/events/nzclw-challenge.html