Appreciation of Chinese culture grows in Tajikistan

Updated: 2014-09-15 15:49

(Xinhua and China Daily)

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More Tajik people are accepting Chinese culture and language due to the two countries' close bilateral ties in politics, economy and education.

The number of local students who are choosing to study Mandarin or have expressed the willingness to study in China has increased tremendously, said Deng Xin, director of the Confucius Institute at Tajik National University.

Mu Zhilong, the Chinese name of a young Tajik man working at a Chinese company, said he studied business Mandarin at Xinjiang Normal University in Urumqi for four years before studying international relations at China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing.

He said he wished he could work at the Tajik Foreign Ministry so he could contribute to the friendship between the two countries.

In the capital city of Dushanbe, there are dozens of Chinese restaurants, at which most of the waiters speak fluent Mandarin.

On the weekends, local families throng these restaurants, making it close to impossible to get a seat without a reservation.

"Eating Chinese food has become fashionable in this country," said Xiao Yonghai, a Chinese owner of a restaurant in Dushanbe. "Not only the president and prime minister but also everyday citizens are fond of Chinese food."

"Among the Chinese dishes, Peking duck is the most popular in Tajikistan," said a Chinese chef surnamed Tan.

Apart from Chinese language and food, the "Made in China" sign is another Chinese element in Tajikistan.

The Sahelistan Tunnel, built almost 3,000 meters above sea level, was constructed by China Road and Bridge Corp in 2012.

Emomalii Rahmon, president of Tajikistan, said at the completion ceremony that the tunnel added great strategic meaning to Tajik social and economical development.

Sherali Rahmon, first deputy transport minister of Tajikistan, said: "We are impressed by and admire the skills and hard work of the Chinese workers. By cooperating with the Chinese company, we got much experience, and we appreciate it a lot."

Ren Qi contributed to this story