King at launch of Mandarin to Zulu language programme

2013-03-26 00:00

Planning a holiday to China? Best you bone up on your Zulu then.

That was one prospect from the launch of the new bilateral Fujian Programme at the Durban University of Technology yesterday.

The programme will include basic, intermediate and advanced courses in Chinese language and culture. A similar programme will be set up in China to teach Chinese people Zulu.

The launch was attended by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, academics from the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University and members of the media, ahead of the Fifth Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (Brics) Summit at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban.

The Fujian University will also strengthen its relationship with the Ingonyama Trust Board, which oversees rural development issues in KwaZulu-Natal.

The board has been around for nearly 19 years. It is expected that the programme will nurture the farming skills of amakhosi and rural communities.

KZN traditional leaders will visit China later this year, and will be part of the Chinese language programme at DUT. This is the first Brics summit to take place on African soil, and will focus on African development and usher in a new level of engagement, said Zwelithini.

Programme director, Fujian university professor Eddie Hu explained that the programme was open to all. Hu will reside in South Africa for a period of four years to oversee the programme.

Hu said the programme will also teach various elements of Chinese culture, such as the tea culture which looks at different methods of preparation of tea, the equipment used to make the tea and the occasions in which tea is consumed in that country.

Zwelethini said the Brics Summit should seek to address issues that will lead to better lives for ordinary people. “We need to promote bilateral relationships through these institutions…

They must also assist in giving traditional leaders training for development.

The ordinary people are part and parcel of Brics and the focus should be on the poor for the interests of food security,” he said.

The Cedara Juncao [Mushroom] Technology Research Centre was set up between Zwelithini’s office and Fujian in 2010.

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