Kenyans learn Chinese culture at festival in capital
NAIROBI, April 19 (Xinhua) — Many Kenyans thronged a Chinese stand at the Third Nairobi Cultural Festival to learn more about the Chinese culture during the international event held Sunday.
China was represented at the festival held at the National Museum of Kenya by the Confucius Institute at the University of Nairobi during the event that attracted 15 countries and two international organizations.
Guo Hong from the Confucius Institute led the staff in displaying Chinese traditional clothes, food, calligraphy, games, and masks among other exhibits.
“This is the first time China is taking part in the event, and we are in Kenya to teach people Chinese language and culture and let people know one another,” Guo told Xinhua.
Peter Kimura, a visitor at the festival, said he came to the stand to learn more about the Asian nation’s culture after reading in books about the diversity of Chinese culture. “As China and Kenya forge closer international relationship, it is important to learn some aspects of the Chinese culture,” Kimura said.
The festival, conceived in 2013 by the Liaison Manager of Research Institute of Swahili Studies of Eastern Africa at the National Museums of Kenya, Munira Mohammed, in a bid to promote the Swahili culture at first and finally becomes an annual event.
“In 2013, we attracted nine countries, whereas in the second year 12 countries participated and come next year we anticipate the figure to soar,” Mohammed told Xinhua.
Mohammed said the aim of this year’s event is to unite the world through heritage and diversity of cultures.
Other countries that participated at the event included the United States, Switzerland, Somalia, Philippines, Mexico, Nigeria, Spain and Indonesia.
Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Sports Culture and Arts, Hassan Wario, was welcomed at the Chinese stand by the choir from Confucius Institute that received him with a Chinese rendition of “Karibu Kenya” (Welcome to Kenya).
Wario emphasized the importance culture plays in life and promised to make the event a bigger carnival next year.
“Food and music are part of culture,” said Wario, adding one does not necessarily have to visit the respective countries to learn about other people’s culture. “You can even learn some aspects of customs from a forum like this.”