Saliu ABUJA (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Spring Festival
has resonated very strongly in Africa this year, gaining more
popularity and proving to be another eloquent testimony to the
growing cultural convergence between China and Africa, an expert
in Sino-Africa affairs has said.
In a recent interview, Charles
Onunaiju, director of Center for China Studies in the Nigerian
capital city of Abuja, told Xinhua that the colorful activities
held ahead of and at the beginning of the Chinese Spring
Festival across Africa was a proof that “China and Africa have
had a long and very productive cooperation.”
“We are linking up in several respects
and culture is also a very important area where China and
Africa have quite a lot in common, a sense of civic
community, resilience, respect for tradition,” said Onunaiju.
Chinese people across the world marked
the beginning of the Year of the Dog on Friday.
The Chinese new year celebrations are
emblematic of the cultural tradition, heritage and aesthetic
aspirations of the Chinese nation, abounding in distinctive
Chinese symbols of great emotional appeal, Onunaiju said.
The tradition of such celebrations by
Chinese dates back to more than 4,000 years and includes
displaying fireworks, Chinese new year couplets, preparing
Jiaozi (Chinese dumplings) and having the family reunion dinner
on the new year’s eve.
Celebration of the Spring Festival
started over a week ago in Nigeria, with a variety of
China-Nigeria cultural activities being held in the capital city
Last Sunday, the Chinese community in
Nigeria held a carnival-like celebration to mark the beginning
of Chinese Lunar New Year 2018 in Abuja.
The event, organized by the Chinese
Embassy in Nigeria, witnessed a large turnout of Chinese
citizens, local Nigerian officials and people willing to learn
about the Chinese festival.
The revelers were enthralled by an
exhibition of the Chinese culture and various Chinese and
Nigerian art performances as well as the Chinese traditional
lion and dragon dances by local people.
The Spring Festival has become a major
part of the Chinese national life, according to Onunaiju, who
said that it has become “universalized” and “a reminisce of
China’s cultural heritage.”
“Becoming universalized is no longer a
China thing. The whole world pays attention to the Spring
Festival. It’s celebrated across the world. The whole world
stands with China at every Spring Festival, it has literally
become an international event,” Onunaiju, who has written
several books on China-Africa cooperation, said.
The dog signifies “loyalty and
resilience,” and this, Onunaiju said, will take China-Africa
cooperation to a new high in the Year of the Dog.