Cultural exchange has been described as a tool for the enhancement of friendship between peoples and nations.

This is the reason for the 2022 Annual China-Nigeria Cultural Fiesta, Singing and Dancing competition jointly organized by the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria and the Federal Capital Territory Secondary Education Board (SEB), held at the China Cultural Center in Abuja.

Mr Li Xuda, Cultural Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in his welcome address, said the fiesta provides an excellent opportunity for students in FCT schools to acquire cultural knowledge, showcase their talents and win great prizes in return.

His words, “As you know, a long and fruitful relationship has already been built between the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria and the FCT Secondary Education Board through the joint organization of the China-Nigeria Cultural Fiesta for many years.

“Today, the fiesta has developed into a well-known cultural brand in FCT, especially as our students from China-Corner schools eagerly look forward to its opening every year so they can fully display their talents and win big awards.

“Teenagers are the future of a country and culture is very critical to their personal development and national progress. China-Nigeria Cultural Fiesta provides an important platform for our FCT school students to learn cultural knowledge, master cultural skills and enhance cultural awareness so that they can make valuable contributions to building a more civilized and beautiful country.”

In his keynote address, Muhammed Sani Ladan, Director of FCT-SEB, who was represented at the event by Aishatu Sani Alhassan, Director School Services thanked the Chinese Embassy for their continuous collaboration and urged participating students to use the fiesta to learn new cultures, socialize and have fun.

“May I bring to your notice that the China-Nigeria Cultural Fiesta is one of the oldest activities engaged by the two parties since the inception of this collaboration. It has provided immense opportunity for cultural exchange and schools have benefitted from the valuable prizes attached to the competition annually. Today our students are dressed in Chinese costumes courtesy of the Embassy and they are happy to appear as Nigerian Chinese. That is a feat that has been achieved in cultural diplomacy,” he said.

“Apart from this event, the Embassy and the Board engage in the celebration of Spring Festival, Temple Fair, Health Lectures in Schools, Award of Scholarship to students, capacity building of staff in China and so many other interventions in education and culture. We are grateful for all the beneficial bilateral relations and we hope to see more of them.

“The Chinese corners that are established in Eleven Schools have been up and doing and as a result of that, Chinese language learning, Chinese songs and dances, as well as Nigerian dances are all products of the Chinese corners. The book, serials and internet services provided in the corners by the Embassy equally helps to improve their academic performances,” he added.

12 schools in the FCT took part in the contest divided into three categories namely Chinese Dance, Nigerian Dance and Chinese Song.

After series of breathtaking performances from the students, Government Day Secondary School, Dutse won first position for both Chinese and Nigerian Dance, while Army Day Secondary School, Asokoro emerged winner in Chinese Song category.

Rahama International Academy Suleja and Government Secondary School, Apo came second and third IN Chinese Dance, while Government Secondary School, Npappe and Government Girls Secondary School, Dutse emerged second and third in the Nigerian Dance category.

Similarly, Government Secondary School, Byazhin and Government Secondary School Jabi came second and third in the Chinese Song category respectively.

Highlight of the event was the presentation of prizes to winners and consolation prizes to other participating schools.

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