Mr Li Chuda, the Cultural Attache for the Embassy of China, said the cultural exchange between Nigeria and China has come to stay and would lead to better cooperation in the future.
Chuda, who is also the Director of the Chinese Cultural Center, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, at the ongoing 11th International Arts and Crafts Expo in Abuja.
The expo was organised by the National Council for Arts and Crafts, with the theme; ` ‘Networking Nigerian Arts and Crafts to the World’ and was scheduled from Nov. 17 to Nov. 24.
He said that the embassy’s major objective was to achieve cultural exchange within the local community in Nigeria and also to ensure a safe integration.
According to him, having China day at the cultural expo is a dream come true, it means the aim of having cultural exchange has been accepted by Nigeria.
“We applaud the apex body of culture in Nigeria, the council for arts and culture, for giving China a day. It shows that the Chinese culture has come to stay and heading for a better cooperation in the future.
“As part of the cultural integration programme we have what we call the `Chinese Corner’, we have a platform where we take Chinese close to majorly Nigerian schools through dance and songs.
“We have 12 of them fully established, founded and material given by the embassy, the names of the schools included; Government Secondary School Garki, Army Day Secondary School Asoroko.
“Govt. Sec. School Dutse, DGSS Dutse Alhaji, JSS Apo Resettlement, JSS Jabi, JSS Gwarinpa, we have a private school Rahama International,’’ he said.
He added that dance and songs was part of every culture, hence the initiative of using the elements of culture to catch the students young.
He disclosed that whatever was taught to the students was from the angle of the Nigerian culture, like the Dragon Dance which has a similar dance in Taraba State.
Students from the Government Girls Secondary School Dutse (GGSSD), who performed the Chinese `Dragon Dance’ spoke to NAN about their experiences in separate interviews.
Musa Deborah said that the collaboration has increased her experience and that of her school mates, adding that she hopes to visit China in the future.
“The collaboration means a lot to me and my school because I never imagine that our school being a government school will have this opportunity to collaborate with the Chinese embassy.
“I feel favoured that they choose our school because we are girls of high esteem. The experience is awesome because I have learnt a lot.
“Also, I get to speak their language, sing their song and so many other things, and I hope to visit China in the future,’’ she said.
Aishat Bello, also said that the collaboration means a lot to her and she felt honoured and loved.
“The process of learning the language and dance did not come as a culture shock to me. Chinese is a culture that I want to know and learn more.
“Due to their rich cultural heritage, learning their language was a bit tough but I think it was worth the effort.
“Together with the toughness there were moments of excitement joined together and we learnt very fast.
“It took us two years to learn the language and dance in between classes and other extra curriculum activities,’’ she said.