By Nelson Omonu, Abuja
The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Mr Cui Jianchun, has said that the recent signing of the Sub-Committee Statute between China and Nigeria and establishment of Sub-Committee on Culture and Tourism is a milestone for the cultural and tourism exchange and cooperation between the two continental giants.
Ambassador Cui made this remarks at the launching of the 2022 “Chinese New Year,” which falls on Feb. 1st. 2022 and is tagged a year of the Tiger, according to the Chinese zodiac.
In his words, Ambassador Cui said, “Just two weeks ago, we were happy to witness the signing of the Sub-Committee Statute between China and Nigeria. The establishment of the Sub-Committee on Culture and Tourism is really a milestone for the cultural and tourism exchange and cooperation between our two countries.
“It can be said that we ushered in a good start at the beginning of the year. With joint efforts from both sides, the establishment of the other 4 Sub-Committees is under preparation, they will come into being one after another early this year.
“The establishment of the intergovernmental cooperation mechanism will surely lift the cooperation between our two countries in various fields to a new level. Political consonance, economic cooperation, military collaboration, international coordination and people communication, which are 5 goals proposed by me last year, will definitely be achieved!”
Explaining the essence of “Chinese New Year,” Ambassador Cui said, it is a period of family reunion: “When it comes to traditional festivals, the Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival or Lunar New Year, is the grandest festival in China.
“To Chinese people, it is as important as Christmas to our Nigerian friends. While it’s approaching, all the cities, towns, even small villages around China are decorated with vibrant red lanterns, Chinese knots, ‘Fu’ character pictures and colorful lights to create a joyful atmosphere. Chinese New Year is a time to be home with family, numerous Chinese people manage to make their way home at the latest by New Year’s Eve for a reunion dinner with the whole family. During the Festival, friends and relatives call each other to exchange greetings and good wishes, nowadays people start to use social media app like Wechat to send their New Year blessings through text messages or voice messages. In addition, lucky money wrapped in red envelopes will be given by seniors to their Children, young people usually like to set off firecrackers, visit relatives from one home to another, and many others love to watch New Year’s Gala on TV, cook at home, chat with family members, go to parks or attend various New Year parties.”
While congratulating the Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, His Excellency, Cui Jianchun, as well as the entire Chinese community in Nigeria, the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr Adaora Ifeoma Anyawutaku, expressed Nigeria’s delight to be part of this year’s Chinese New Year celeberation.
According to Dr Adaora, “Based on the diplomatic ties which has existed between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and People’s Republic of China over the past 50 years, we have witnessed a renewed impetus for cultural understanding and exchange between both countries. Significant days such as the Chinese New Year Celebration which is also known as the Lunar New Year Celebration therefore remains very important to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
She used the opportunity to congratulate China for being elected to host the 2022 Winter Olympic Games whichbis the first Winter Olympics in China and the second overall Olympics in China.
Also, in a remark, the Deputy Chairman
of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, Hon Kayode Moshood Akiolu, said that the Diplomatic ties between Nigeria and China has attained enviable height, insisting that it has become a pace setter for other developing countries globally.