Staff members of Wellington City council practice Chinese calligraphy during lunch break on July 31, 2020. (Guo Lei/Xinhua)
"COVID-19 resulted in social isolation. But communication brings us back together, and language is a great advocate for communication between different cultures."
WELLINGTON, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese Learning Forum was held in Wellington, capital city of New Zealand on Friday.
This event is the first re-gathering of students from Mandarin Chinese for Business, a program co-launched by Wellington China Cultural Centre and Wellington City Council in 2018, which was temporarily shut down earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students were learning a new sentence in Chinese with enthusiasm --"Xue Hua Piao Piao Bei Feng Xiao Xiao." The line from Chinese song
As part of cultural practice, students tried calligraphy and enjoyed some dumplings at the event.
"You learn more when you're having fun. Now the students are keen to go back to our class," said Michelle Zhou, teacher of the day.
The language class focuses on practical Chinese in business, tourism and culture, with students mainly from Wellington City Council and other public sectors.
Tom Yuan, manager of Wellington City Council's international relations as well as a co-organizer of the event, has been working with this program for over two years.
"I believe learning Chinese is an effective way to improve our public service in tourism and business sectors," said Yuan.
Miske Harsch, a young employee from Wellington City Council, mentioned that he had downloaded two apps for learning Chinese.
"Hopefully the class will soon be resumed. Learning Chinese is useful for my job and benefits my friendships and daily life."
"We are currently preparing for the Chinese classes to resume. COVID-19 resulted in social isolation. But communication brings us back together, and language is a great advocate for communication between different cultures," said Guo Zongguang, director of Wellington China Cultural Centre.■