NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Alice Mugure relishes speaking in
Mandarin to her Chinese supervisors at the Nairobi-Mombasa
Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) passenger train where she
has worked as an assistant locomotive driver for the
last nine months.
In her late
20s, Mugure is convinced that proficiency in Chinese
language is not only a vital ingredient in her line of
work, but also boosts her appreciation of a rich culture
in China where she has visited twice.
became a star attraction when she mimicked a marching
soldier shouting orders in baritone voice during
rehearsals for Chinese Spring Festival performances to
be held on Feb. 14 at the SGR Nairobi terminus.
rehearsals were hosted by the University of Nairobi’s
Confucius Institute whose Kenyan students are also
expected to stage thrilling performances at the event to
mark the Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year
which falls on Feb. 16 this year.
Xinhua on the sidelines of the rehearsals on Sunday that
she was excited by the prospect of participating in the
Spring Festival that is expected to usher in a new
chapter in Sino-Kenyan cultural cooperation.
festival will provide a platform for cross-cultural
understanding between Kenyan and Chinese people and I
look forward to thrilling performances,” said Mugure.
working for Chinese firms will join their colleagues
from the Asian nation to celebrate the Spring Festival
on Valentine’s Day, two days before the festival starts
in strict-speaking terms.
her colleagues have been preparing to stage outstanding
performances and electrify both the Kenyan and Chinese
audience during the festival.
Mandarin speaker confessed that she felt honored to be
granted a chance to entertain guests at the Spring
Festival celebration in her home country.
“I was in
China during the Spring Festivals held in the last two
years and am glad to celebrate the event in my home
soil. It is my hope that the celebrations here in Kenya
will be exceptional,” Mugure remarked.
study tour in China between 2015 to 2016 and again in
the first quarter of 2017 has increased her appreciation
of the country’s rich cultural heritage.
“I am now
accustomed to the Chinese culture, it is good though it
takes longer to master it. I love the Chinese dance and
food,” said Mugure.
that other aspects of Chinese culture like martial arts
and love for outdoor activities offer inspiring lessons
to Kenyans yearning for physical fitness.
Kenyan SGR employees and students from the Confucius
Institutes domiciled in the country’s four main public
universities are expected to stage plays, song and dance
at the Spring Festival’s main gala.
Owire, a 23-year-old assistant locomotive driver at the
SGR passenger train dubbed “Madaraka Express”, said the
Spring Festival presents a golden opportunity for
enhanced cultural understanding between Kenyans and
their Chinese friends.
“I feel good
to celebrate the Spring Festival while in Kenya and we
will have a chance to learn new aspects of Chinese
culture,” said Owire.
visited China in the first quarter of 2017 to learn the
practical aspects of driving a locomotive.
currently studying Chinese language at the University of
Nairobi’s Confucius Institute in the hope it will help
improve her interaction with colleagues from the Asian
holder in electrical engineering admitted her
appreciation of Chinese culture especially meditation
and martial arts that have a positive impact on physical
and emotional health.
“As far as
the Chinese culture is concerned, I love the meditation
part and martial arts. They are very helpful in my
profession where physical fitness is a vital attribute,”
a 24-year-old locomotive technician at the SGR passenger
train, agreed that martial arts that is the embodiment
of China’s cultural prowess, has therapeutic power.
enjoying learning Kungfu, it is refreshing and helps us
maintain physical fitness,” said Ngugi adding that as a
veteran footballer, he found it easy to learn Kungfu.
other young male colleagues will be staging a Kungfu
performance during the Spring Festival main gala in
mechanical engineering major said he anticipated
fruitful interactions between Kenyans and their Chinese
friends during the ceremony.
selected to perform at the Spring Festival celebration,
am optimistic there will be robust Afro-Chinese
interactions,” Ngugi told Xinhua.
a student at the University of Nairobi’s Confucius
Institute, said that staging a play at the Spring
Festival Gala will be fun and thrilling.
will focus on how SGR has transformed lives and I look
forward to seeing the beauty of our diverse cultures on
display at Spring Festival gala,” said Chege.