Mus­lims spread Chi­nese cul­ture abroad

China’s de­vel­op­ment earns pil­grims self-dig­nity: ex­pert

Global Times US Edition - - CHINA - By Liu Caiyu and Cao Siqi

Chi­nese Mus­lim pil­grims spread Chi­nese cul­ture to Saudi Ara­bian peo­ple dur­ing a month-long hajj in Mecca and Me­d­ina, which ex­perts said demon­strated their in­creas­ing na­tional pride and con­fi­dence due to China’s de­vel­op­ment.

Dur­ing a short stay in Saudi Ara­bia, Chi­nese Mus­lims or­ga­nized an event on July 31 to teach easy daily Chi­nese di­a­logues to staff of a travel guide agency for South­east Asian pil­grims, the China Islamic As­so­ci­a­tion re­ported.

The event demon­strated Chi­nese Mus­lims’ grow­ing pa­tri­o­tism and na­tional pride, ac­cord­ing to Gao Zhanfu, a vice dean of the Bei­jing-based China Islamic In­sti­tute.

Gao, who has vis­ited Saudi Ara­bia on pil­grim­ages, told the Global Times on Sun­day that he had wit­nessed how Chi­nese Mus­lim pil­grims have be­come in­creas­ingly con­fi­dent and proud of be­ing a Chi­nese cit­i­zen as China’s de­vel­op­ment earns them self-dig­nity.

“It was unimag­in­able that Chi­nese pil­grims teach lo­cals Chi­nese in pre­vi­ous years,” Gao said.

At the event, Chi­nese Mus­lims brought Chi­nese cal­lig­ra­phy, kung fu and Chi­nese food to share with the at­ten­dees.

Dai Jun­feng, head of the Islamic As­so­ci­a­tion in Kun­ming, South­west China’s Yun­nan Prov­ince, at­tended the event on July 31.

He told the Global Times that Saudi Ara­bian peo­ple’s knowl­edge of China has im­proved through ma­jor Chi­nese projects and the pop­u­lar­ity of Chi­nese goods in Saudi Ara­bia as well as the two sides’ ex­pand­ing co­op­er­a­tion in tech­nol­ogy and en­ergy.

“This is why we have an op­por­tu­nity now to pro­mote Chi­nese cul­ture in Saudi Ara­bia,” Dai said.

On July 30, Mus­lims from South­west China’s Yun­nan Prov­ince held a pa­tri­otic ac­tiv­ity in Saudi Ara­bia to ex­press their love for the coun­try by writ­ing po­ems, cal­lig­ra­phy and paint­ings, ac­cord­ing to the Chi­nese Em­bassy to Saudi Ara­bia.

The man­ager of the guide agency said there is a fever to learn Chi­nese in the Mid­dle East, a first step of get­ting to know Chi­nese cul­ture.

China and Saudi Ara­bia agreed to in­clude Chi­nese lan­guage learn­ing as a cur­ricu­lum at all stages of ed­u­ca­tion in schools and uni­ver­si­ties across the king­dom dur­ing Saudi Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man’s of­fi­cial visit to China in Fe­bru­ary.

The US and Euro­pean coun­tries used to have huge im­pacts on the world but now China has be­come a pow­er­ful coun­try as well due to its rapid de­vel­op­ment, a Bangladesh­i em­ployee of the agency said.

“China as a civ­i­lized an­cient na­tion is ben­e­fit­ing peo­ple around the world by the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. I feel proud for China and want to learn more Chi­nese cul­ture,” he said, not­ing that he hoped Chi­nese Mus­lims would hold more events to show Chi­nese cul­ture.

The first batch of Chi­nese Mus­lims this year reached Mecca on July 15 from South­west China’s Ningxia Hui Au­tonomous Re­gion and Yun­nan Prov­ince.

In 2018, nearly 12,000 peo­ple from China flew to Saudi Ara­bia for the an­nual hajj. Chi­nese ex­perts es­ti­mated that the num­ber would re­main roughly the same in 2019. The of­fi­cial num­ber has not yet been re­leased.

Hajj is one of the five pil­lars of Is­lam and an im­por­tant re­li­gious ac­tiv­ity.

The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment dis­patched more than 600 staff to serve pil­grims in­clud­ing med­i­cal ser­vices, din­ing, traf­fic and hous­ing, ac­cord­ing to the China Islamic As­so­ci­a­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.