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Peng urges German chorus to use music as bridge

By Mo Jingxi | | Updated: 2024-03-28 23:47
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Peng Liyuan, wife of President Xi Jinping, interacts with the visiting members of Burg Chinese Chorus from Essen, Germany, on Thursday at Beijing No 35 High School. [Wang Jing / China Daily]

Peng Liyuan, wife of President Xi Jinping, encouraged members of Germany's Burg Chinese Chorus on Thursday to continue to use music as the "golden key" to unlock a new world of Chinese language and experience the charm of Chinese culture through beautiful songs, as they did 10 years ago.

It is hoped that the young people will become the new envoys of friendship between China and Germany, Peng said when meeting in Beijing with members of the chorus, who are visiting China for the first time after COVID-19 pandemic.

It was Peng's inspiration that led to the founding of the chorus in 2014, when she accompanied Xi on a state visit to Germany and made a visit to Burg Gymnasium, a public high school in Germany that has been offering Chinese language courses since 1994. When the chorus members asked how they could improve their Mandarin pronunciation, she suggested that the students sing more Chinese songs.

In October 2016, Peng met with the teachers and students of the school again in Beijing.

In 2021, she wrote a letter to the students and teachers, in which she also invited them to visit China again for exchange and study after the pandemic and called on them to contribute to strengthening the friendship between the peoples of China and Germany, especially young people.

On Thursday, Peng warmly welcomed the chorus to China and congratulated it for persisting in using song to convey friendship and build bridges of cultural exchanges between the two countries.

Having learned about the students' studies and experiences over the past years, Peng praised them for speaking more fluent Chinese and expressed her hope that the students will get a deeper understanding of China after this trip.

She also encouraged them to share with families and friends what they have seen and felt in China, in order to continue promoting friendship between the two countries.

Olaf Millmann, organizing director of the Burg Chinese Chorus, said he appreciated Peng's care and support for the chorus over the years, saying that more young Germans are learning about and starting to love China through Chinese songs.

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