• Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Who wants to discover the richness of African cultural heritage could visit IASZNU


Jun 11, 2024
BEIJING, June 11 (ABP) – Under the auspices of China International Press Communication Center (CIPCC), African journalists last month visited the Institute of African Studies of Zhejiang Normal University (IASZNU ) in Zhejiang province, People’s Republic of China (PRC), where they noted that the latter gave birth to the African museum which makes a remarkable contribution to the recovery of the historical truth of the African continent.
IASZNU has contributed significantly to preserving the cultural heritage of traditional African societies through the China-Africa Exchanges Museum and the African Museum.
The Institute of African Studies of Zhejiang Normal University (IASZNU) was founded in September 2008 under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the PRC. IASZNU has established cooperative relationships with more than 20 universities and institutes in Africa. It has also established a branch in South Africa and has set up Confucius Institutes in Cameroon, Mozambique, Tanzania and South Africa. IASZNU has been selected as the Best Regional Studies Center (University-Affiliated) by Global Go To Think Tank Index Report for five consecutive years.
The teacher-researcher at IASZNU, Prof. Yoro Diallo told the press that the African museum was created in 2010 by a Chinese, Prof. Liu Hongwu, who followed his studies in Africa and understood that if countries enjoy excellent relations both politically and economically, it is also very important that the people of these countries know each other and get closer on the basis of cultural exchanges. He put in place this museum as part of committing to the in-depth study of African culture and art as well as China-Africa relations.
Prof. Yoro holding talks with African journalists visiting the IASZNU
Inside the museum, various cultural and art objects from different African countries including Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, the Republic Democratic Republic of Congo, Mauritania, Sudan, Ethiopia, Niger, Guinea, and Ivory Coast, are exhibited. These are ethnographic objects, the oldest of which date back to the creation of the said museum in 2010; a collection of textiles, musical instruments, and African currencies; as well as a remarkable collection of art paintings (Dinga-Dinga painting).
According to teacher-researcher Yoro, it is culture that allows people to better know each other, to better exchange and respect each other.
Unlike some Western countries which believed that Africa has neither a history nor a civilization, China has never expressed a spirit of superiority towards Africa in terms of civilization and culture, Prof. Yoro underscored, adding, moreover, that China respects other countries as they are and never imposes on them what they ought to do.
View of the visitors with Prof. Yoro during the talks
He testified that Chinese young people who visit this museum are impressed by the African cultural tradition, while some of the African young people who get the opportunity to pay a visit to this museum discover the traditional cultural splendor of their countries inside the latter.
Prof. Yoro reported having noticed that villagers in China remain attached to their tradition and culture, and having noticed that there is a resemblance between certain points of Chinese culture and certain points of African cultures.
To this end, he hoped that Chinese museums would be established in Africa so that Africans who do not have the opportunity to come to China can discover Chinese culture in their respective countries.
As for the learning of African languages ​​by young Chinese, Prof. Yoro said that the institute already has a Chinese colleague who spent years in Tanzania and who speaks Swahili well, as well as one of their students who is learning Swahili in Tanzania.
He encouraged other young Chinese people to study African languages ​​because, he said, to better know someone and their culture, one should understand and appreciate their language.
View of some cultural objects objects inside the African Museum
At the entrance to the IASZNU, there is the China-Africa Exchanges Museum, inside which one can read on the walls the entire history of Sino-African relations, from the genesis to the present era.
On-the-spot information specifies that as of 2021, more than 30 African universities set up Chinese language departments or Chinese language majors, 16 African countries promoted Chinese language education in primary and secondary schools, and tens of thousands of Africans were trained to be skilled in Chinese language and culture. Both China and Africa value cultural and people-to-people exchanges and work together for the development of the Confucius Institutes in Africa.
Note that Zhejiang Normal University (ZNU) has 45,000 students from different countries around the world, including those from African countries.
The African Museum, home to the splendour of the African cultural heritage