Rendering Warmth On The Post-Pandemic Era With Culture
Launched by the China Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur (CCCKL) in June this year, the “Beautiful China – The Love Journey” essay contest 2020 is about to be finalised in the near future. Among the more than 400 articles tendered, there were many touching stories that impressed Messrs. Zhang Jiexin, CCCKL’s director while reflecting the deep Sino-Malaysia friendship amongst their people.
In an interview with China News Service on August 25th, Messrs. Zhang specifically talked about an article solicited from the Malaysia campus of Xiamen University: A Malaysian student studying at the university together with another Mainland Chinese student were stranded at the branch campus due to the pandemic. For more than half of the year, they “got along day and night and forged a profound friendship”. The Malaysian student wrote the “snippets & vignettes” of their lives as “memories of the pandemic” and participated in the above submission of articles.
In the article, Malaysian students humorously described their jokes caused by differences in living habits, and affectionately recalled how Chinese students studying traditional Chinese medicine took good care of him when he was sick.
In Messrs. Zhang’s view, the “short story” between the two students indirectly depicted the profound friendship between China and Malaysia in helping and supporting each other during the pandemic. He told reporters that throughout this essay solicitation, there were also many works narrating the family and friendship forged in the pandemic and expressing respect towards the anti-pandemic frontliners. They all served to provide impetus in encouraging China and Malaysia to fight the pandemic and fully reflecting the theme of this essay contest – ‘The Love Journey.’
Messrs. Zhang further opined that “the pandemic has had a great impact on cultural exchanges”. But on the other hand, during the pandemic greater cultural needs amongst the people were emanated. We are also in more acute need of the warm strength of culture and art to “unite the hearts of the people and be positive in forging ahead”.
Therefore, during the pandemic, China Cultural Centre which was put into trial operation last year and officially opened in January this year, had become more active in promoting Chinese culture amongst the local people and driving two-way cultural exchanges between China and Malaysia.
Messrs. Zhang Jiexin said that in response to the “new normal” during the pandemic, China Cultural Centre had transferred many activities from offline to online platforms. In this regard, dozens of online activities were launched involving “cloud viewing exhibitions”, “cloud viewing competitions, “cloud public welfare” and other fields.
Since May this year China Cultural Centre, in conjunction with the local Malaysian online media had launched a series of interview programs entitled “The Author’s Choice” that invited outstanding Malaysian Chinese writers to recommend their own excellent Chinese writers and works to the Malaysian public.
As soon as the series of interviews were launched, they received an “unexpected” response in Malaysia, with an average viewership of “100,000 plus” per episode.
Messrs. Zhang said that the purpose of launching this program during the pandemic was to facilitate a better understanding of each other’s culture amongst the people of China and Malaysia and “provide emotional support to the Malaysian people afflicted by the pandemic in a unique way.”
In addition, China Cultural Centre also actively supported the promotion of online concerts by Malaysian Chinese music celebrities and the organising of “‘The beauty of Living Wealth of Sichuan online exhibition’”, an online cultural-cum-travel promotional event to drive quality products.
China and Malaysia are important sources of tourists to each other. The tourism industry had been particularly hard hit by the pandemic. Messrs. Zhang told reporters that during the pandemic, the Centre used its own website and social media and together with a number of local new media platforms, successively launched tourism promotion programs such as “The Countryside China”, “VR Tour China” and “This is China”. It also held the online selection of the “2019 China-Beyond Your Imagination Video Contest” to enable Malaysians to gain a deeper understanding of China’s beauty, food and culture.
On 26th of the following month, China Cultural Centre would also launch a “Malaysia China Culture and Tourism Month – Fun with Nature” at the Zoo Negara Malaysia and hold the cultural week of “Mid-Autumn Festival: A Moonmoment to Remember” at the same time.
He said that in the future the China Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur hopes to further integrate cultural tourism resources, continue to promote people-to-people exchanges between China and Malaysia, enhance the affections amongst people of the two countries, and mutually bring richer cultural life experiences to the people of the two countries in the post-pandemic era.