Confucius Institute in Mauritius: A dream comes true

On Wednesday 14 December 2016 at Octave Wiehe Hall (Reduit), the opening ceremony of the establishment of Confucius Institute was held on our soil.

The function was graced by Mr Paramasivum Vyapooree, Acting President of the Republic of Mauritius, Dr Jean Claude Autrey, Chancellor of the University of Mauritius, R Fengmin Wu, Chairman of Zhejiang Sci-Tech, University Council, China, Mr Li Li, Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China, Professor (Mrs) Romeela Mohee Vice-Chancellor of the University of Mauritius and other distinguished guests.At the start of the ceremony a Lion Dance was performed to welcome the distinguished guests. Then followed a Cultural Show, performed by students of Zheijiang Sci-Tech University in collaboration with University of Mauritius. After the speeches of high the personalities, an unveiling of plaque was done by the Acting President of the Republic of Mauritius and the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China..

Mr Vyapooree in his speech lay emphasis on the importance of studying an oriental language and the long-existing ties that cement the two countries while Prof Mohee highlighted the setting up of Confucius Institute is in line with its globalization strategy to build ties with internationally renowned institutions. Mr Li Li, for his part, expressed his immense joy to find a dream come true after the relentless efforts of each and everyone concerned. A historic day was written in the pages of our university.

It was in Seoul that the first Confucius Institute was established in November 2004 after that of Tashkent in April 2004. By the end of 2015 more than 500 Confucius Institutes and 10,000 classrooms were operating in 134 countries. The Confucius Institute is located in 125 countries. Out of a total of 500, 110 are in Asia, 46 in Africa, 169 in Europe,157 in the Americas,18 in Oceania.

The establishment of Confucius Institute is in line with the co-operation between China and Mauritius. It strengthens our ties. The teaching of Mandarin is its main task. It will provide the courses of Chinese language for the public at large, carry out a variety of Chinese cultural activities to make China known interactively, offer specific training courses to Chinese language teachers and educators, and communicate and collaborate with local China friendship associations.

Confucius Institutes across the globe provide scope for people to learn Chinese language and culture. They are also a forum for cultural exchanges and build a bridge in the promotion of friendship and cooperation between China and the rest of the world

The Institute is an important window for the general public in Mauritius to learn about China and Chinese culture. The establishment of Confucius Institute is a landmark in the consolidation of relations between China and Mauritius. A special thank to the contribution of indefatigable Senior Lecturer Vina Ballgobin, and Bodita Ramano in the materialization of this project.

Philip Li Ching Hum

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