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Hangzhou Kids Show Talents for Intercultural Communication

 

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world,” says Ludwig Wittgenstein, one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century. English as an international language, is not only a tool but a bridge for people to communicate with others of different backgrounds, and for a city to go global.

 

 

A day in 15 countries


15 country-themed booths representing Germany, Brazil, the US, Canada, the UK, France, Netherland, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Malaysia, Japan, Australia, Russia, China were standing at the Hangzhou Public Library on August 31, attracting 120 local families, parents with kids, to participate in. Each booth has a test, pass it can obtain a stamp, and collecting all 15 stamps can exchange for a reward.

As a series event of the 2019 Hangzhou International Day, the Cultural Carnival funfair is organized by Hangzhou Public Library and RISE English, and co-organized by YMM Art Space and MY HOMIE.

"In addition to lending services, Hangzhou Public Library has been taking effort to build a public platform for intercultural communications in Hangzhou," said Ying Hui, general director of Hangzhou Public Library at the Cultural Carnival revealing that more upcoming events will be expected.

Several "ambassadors", consisting of 17 kids aged between 4 and 14, as well as 12 international volunteers and dozens of Chinese volunteers, were working hard to make it a success.

English is the "official language" in the carnival. Timmy, the 5 years old kindergartener was the little ambassador at the Turkey booth. Confident and diligent, he was busy with his work on providing basic understanding of Turkey and quizzing the kids coming to his booth. He prepared the props and scripts for several days with his mother who thought it's a good chance to broaden the mind as well as practice English.

 


Yoyo, 8, a top student at RISE, was instantly recognizable on the scene as wearing a black wizard hat. He mentioned that representing the UK was interesting and fruitful though it is where he hasn’t been yet. 

 

 

Expats volunteering


"I was so impressed by the high level of English those kids have," said Lucas, the "ambassador" of Germany booth who is conducting a master's degree in International Relations at Zhejiang University.

He has lots of experience to teach kids, but this event is varied. Volunteering at the booth means introducing the country to the kids with the words they can understand and kneeling on the ground playing a huge-size Auto Flying Chess with them. He said he loves the idea of country-themed cultural carnival and considers it as a very good start for people in Hangzhou to better understand the world.

Dressed in the elegant traditional costume baju kebaya, Pui Si from Malaysia is rooting for her country. Patient and sweet as she is, she looks like an elder sister to the kids. "I'm tired but happy!" she depicted with a smile.

 


The crowd was easily attracted by the exotic decorated Iraq booth in the center of the carnival, where "ambassador" Mustafa was sitting by the table with his little invention—a quiz device. Kids need to press the yes or no button to answer if the scene of the showed picture is in Iraq.

He truly enjoyed the time being with kids. "I was moved by so many volunteers donating their time here, and I was honored to be part of it," said Mustafa who is starting his fourth year of Ph.D. study at Zhejiang University. He loves Hangzhou, not only because "Hangzhou gives me a Ph.D.," but the convenience for foreigners since Hangzhou's progress towards internationalization.

Saulo and Henry, both from Brazil, were in charge of the Brazil booth by playing mini soccer with kids. They were pleased to see such an international event for the bravery, confidence, and ambitious showed by kids in Hangzhou when they meet people speaking in different accents.