“Wushu Makes Me Fall in Love with Chinese Culture”

[Source]    People’s Daily [Time]    2019-01-09 09:29:34 

The final of 2018 Rwanda National Wushu Championship concluded in the capital city Kigali a few days ago. This event was sponsored by the Confucius Institute at the University of Rwanda-College of Education and Rwanda National Wushu Association. After over 8 hours of fierce competition, over 40 medals were awarded to contestants who stood out among more than 100 Wushu enthusiasts from 4 provinces of the country. In recent years, Wushu culture has been widely spread in Rwanda and has become an important bond for the cultural exchanges between China and Rwanda.

The competitive events in this championship included five-step boxing, changquan, nanquan, sabreplay, cudgel play and so on. The competition comprised two sections, martial arts repertoire and free combat. Contestants were divided into children’s group, women’s group and adults’ group. In the competition, the contestants’ highly difficult moves and wonderful fights in free combat won rounds of applause from the audience from time to time.

“National Wushu Championship has become a major event in Rwanda’s Wushu circle, and this is the 7th one.” Su Wen, a consultant of Rwanda National Wushu Association and a martial arts instructor of the Confucius Institute at the University of Rwanda-College of Education, said to the journalist that there have been 23 Wushu clubs around Rwanda and the contestants in the final were all strictly selected from various provinces and clubs. More than 2,000 took part in the championship this year. Rwanda also holds the International Wushu Invitational Tournament every year. This tournament is hosted by Rwanda National Wushu Association, inviting over 100 contestants from Tanzania, Kenya, Zambia, Burundi and other African countries to compete in Rwanda.

“Wushu has become a significant carrier for people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Rwanda.” Didier, a director of Culture and Sports Ministry of Rwanda, said that many contestants representing Rwanda participated in international Wushu competitions and won gold medals, of which he was very proud. It is learned that there have been nearly 5,000 registered students in the Confucius Institute at the University of Rwanda-College of Education and over 2,000 students in Rwanda National Wushu Association.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Rwanda-College of Education has been promoting Chinese Wushu in Rwanda since 2010. Until now, there had been many enthusiasts, and the number of children learning Wushu is rising. Su has taught in Rwanda for 5 years and has more than 500 students. In 2018, 11 of them went to Chongqing Normal University to study Wushu with scholarships.

Kuir Crodim began to learn Wushu at the age of 15 and has won 45 gold medals so far. “I have a sister and two brothers. They are also learning Wushu.” He told the journalist.

The Confucius Institute at the University of Rwanda-College of Education organizes an activity called “Chinese Wushu enters the community” every year. Kuir often participates as a performer and his martial arts performances are always highlights of the activity. He stated that such activities are very popular with the local people. “Wushu can be a bond to promote the friendship between the two peoples and it makes me fall in love with Chinese culture.”

“Wushu is becoming more and more popular in Rwanda.” Rao Hongwei, Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, said that Chinese Wushu contains rich connotation and hoped that it will contribute to the cultural diversity in Rwanda.

(Story by Lv Qiang, People’s Daily, Page 17, January 3rd)

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