Chinese Language Day

[20-04-2022 12:26 PM]

Ammon News - Language Days at the United Nations seek to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six official languages throughout the Organization. Under the initiative, UN duty stations around the world celebrate six separate days, each dedicated to one of the Organization's six official languages.

Why April 20?
The date for the Chinese day was selected from Guyu ("Rain of Millet"), which is the 6th of 24 solar terms in the traditional East Asian calendars, to pay tribute to Cangjie. Cangjie is a very important figure in ancient China, claimed to be an official historian of the Yellow Emperor and the inventor of Chinese characters. Legend has it that he had four eyes and four pupils, and that when he invented the characters, the deities and ghosts cried and the sky rained millet. From then on, Chinese people celebrate the day Guyu in honour of Cangjie. In the Gregorian calendar, it usually begins around April 20.

Chinese at the UN
Chinese was established as an official language of the United Nations in 1946. However, in early years, Chinese was not commonly used in the work of the United Nations. The situation was improved after restoration of the lawful rights of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations in 1971. In 1973, the General Assembly included Chinese as a working language, which was followed by the Security Council in 1974. More and more UN offices and staff members work with Chinese language.

Events at UNHQ
Sponsored by the Chinese Translation Service(DGACM) in association with UNSRC Chinese Book Club and the Chinese Language Programme, a series of events will be hosted on the UN Headquarters premises in New York to celebrate this year's Chinese Language Day, and the celebrations will be highted by:

An official opening ceremony, on 19 April at 8 pm on Zoom, with remarks from the Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the UN, the President of the General Assembly, and the Under-Secretary-General for General Assembly and Conference Management and UN Coordinator for Multilingualism. It will be followed by a presentation on “Zen in Chinese poetry” by Dr. Qiu Xiaolong, organized by the UNSRC Chinese Book Club.

Two presentations (in English) presented by the Chinese Translation Service as part of the Documentation Division Lecture Series. The first presentation is “A Brief Introduction to Chinese Characters” by CTS staff member Mr. Rong Jiang. The second presentation is “Mindfulness as a Way of Living” by Br. Ren Guan from Wenfeng Temple in Yangzhou. The presenter will share his understating of mindfulness and ways to practice it. The presentations are scheduled for April 20, from 12 to 2 pm, via MS Teams.

Exhibition of “Modern Fashion Meets Traditional Chinese Opera", April 1-19, 5:10-6:30pm
An exhibition entitled “The Magic of Zen” organized by the Chinese Translation Service in association with the Permanent Mission of the People’s Republic of China to the UN and the UNSRC Chinese Book Club. The exhibition will bring paintings and calligraphy from nine Chinese artists. It will run from 18 April until 29 April and will take place in the South Lobby of the UN Secretariat Building.

A Civility Café organized by UNOMS in collaboration with the Chinese Translation Service, the Chinese Interpretation Section, and the Chinese Verbatim Reporting Section. The café will be held in Chinese and English on 19 April, from 10 am to 12 pm. Those interested in attending should register by April 18 via this link.
Other events

UN News stories featuring Chinese Language Language Day 2022 to be shared.
A virtual International Chinese Language Festival n English and Chinese hosted by Department of Operational Support. The live event, under the theme of “Online International Chinese Language Festival”, will include two guest speakers sharing their Chinese-learning experience in China, a quiz about Chinese culture, and a virtual board for everyone to share Chinese-learning stories.

Events Around the World
In addition, the United Nations offices in Geneva, Vienna, as well as the Economic Commission for Africa and United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) will host exhibitions, lectures, online campaigns to mark the day.


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