Confucius Institute promotes Chinese language education and cultural communication: Bahraini scholar


MANAMA, June 20 (Xinhua) -- The Confucius Institute in Bahrain has strengthened the connection between the peoples of China and Bahrain and the cultural communication between the two countries, said a Bahraini scholar.

Established in 2014 under the cooperation between the University of Bahrain (UoB) and Shanghai University in China, the Confucius Institute has been fulfilling its goal of strengthening the connection between the peoples of Bahrain and China and deepening the education cooperation and cultural communication, UoB Vice President for Academic Programs and Postgraduate Studies Mohammad Reda Qader told Xinhua.

He said that the educational cooperation and cultural communication between Bahrain and China are essential in a long-term development strategy as part of the Belt and Road Initiative and Bahrain's Economic Vision 2030.

Qader revealed that in the past eight years, 4,384 UoB students have registered for the Chinese language course.

The institute has also completed seven sessions of Chinese language courses for over 200 Bahrain government employees and organized hundreds of cultural activities attended by over 50,000 participants, he said.

Besides language teaching, the institute also provides access to other resources including short-term and long-term study in China, scholarships, students and scholars' exchange programs, and cultural trips.

Qader noted that learning Chinese has become a trend around the world. So far, over 70 countries have officially incorporated Chinese language classes into their national education systems, including Britain, the United Arab Emirates, Ireland, and Australia, he said.

27-year-old Fatima Mirza, who is a Chinese language lecturer at the institute, said studying Chinese was the right decision she had made.

"My unique major has secured me a job at the UoB, which is the official university of Bahrain whose teachers are carefully selected," Mirza said.

Mirza got a scholarship from the government of Bahrain in 2013 to study the Chinese language in Jordan. She improved her language skills when she studied for her master's degree at Shanghai University in China.

"During my time in China, I didn't only learn the language, but also fell in love with the Chinese culture, including Chinese calligraphy and Chinese paintings," she said.

She added that many UoB students join the institute courses out of their interest in the language and the culture.

"We notice that some students know the language basics and join our courses to improve their skills for many reasons, including to watch their favorite Chinese TV series," Mirza said.

The Confucius Institute is a non-profit education institution jointly hosted by Chinese and foreign partners to deepen international understanding of the Chinese language and culture, and promote people-to-people exchanges between China and the rest of the world.