On February 12th, the Confucius Institute at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University hosted the Spring Festival celebration at the City Hall of Kumanovo, Macedonia. Mr. Mao Qingwen，counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Macedonia; Professor Nikola Jankulovski, president of Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, and Ljupcho Malenkov, director of the China-Macedonia Friendship Association; Mr. Maksim Dimitrievsk, mayor of Kumanovo; Mr. Zhika Krstevski, head of the Kumanovo City Branch of the China-Macedonia Friendship Association; teachers and students of the Confucius Institute and some Macedonian citizens were invited to participate in the Spring Festival celebration.
Before the performance, Mr. Ljupcho Malenkov, the director of the China-Macedonia Friendship Association, gave a speech first. He briefly introduced the achievements of the development of China-Macedonia Friendship Association in recent years and said that he will continue to work to promote exchanges of China and Macedonia folks in the future. Immediately afterwards, Mr. Maksim Dimitrievski, Mayor of Kumanovo, expressed his warm welcome to the Confucius Institute for organizing the Spring Festival in Kumanovo. Vlatko Stoilkov, Macedonian Dean of Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, introduced the Chinese Zodiac to the audience with great interest. Liao Wei, the Chinese dean of the Confucius Institute, briefed the audience on the development of the Confucius Institute and work prospects of new year. He expressed the hope that the Chinese language course will be offered in Kumanovo in the future. Mr. Mao Qingwen gave a warm introduction to the new achievements of friendly exchanges between China and Macedonia and sent greetings to the audience on the venue.
The performance was first kicked off by a student of Confucius Institute, Magdalena Dorovska, who is also a Macedonian soprano singer. She sang a Chinese song I Love You China. Then, the local singer of Kumanovo, Elena Trpevska, brought a famous Macedonian lyrical song Prosheta ce Jovka Kumanovka and let the audience appreciate the unique Macedonian style.
Later, Wang Lu, the volunteer teacher of Confucius Institute and other students recited Macedonian poems in both Macedonian and Chinese. The culture of China and Macedonia collided with a dazzling spark. Teacher Wang also sang a classical Chinese song Buddha Man and a famous Macedonian folk music Makedonsko devojce, which won the applause of the audience. Afterwards, a group of high school girls from Kumanovo made their debut, and their energetic modern dance performance brought the atmosphere to a climax.
Chinese Kung Fu has always been a great resource to attract foreign friends to understand China. This time, students of Confucius Institute brought a wonderful Chinese Kung Fu performance to let local audiences have a close look at this unique Chinese culture. There are also many unique classical folk instruments in China, and Guzheng is one of the representatives. The 15-year-old middle school student from China has played a famous song Fishing Boat Singing Night for everyone. The melodious melody depicts the beautiful scenery of the fishermen went back home when the sun sets. Everyone seems to be immersed in the situation, and they are so intoxicated. At the end of the song, the audience gave a warm applause. For many Macedonian audiences, this is their first time to listen to the guzheng performance. Finally, the dancer Elena Risteska performed a modern dance The Bells’ Horizons based on traditional Chinese music. The music is from the famous Zeng Houyi chime. Combining the characteristics of Chinese and Western culture, it won a burst of applause. The cultural exchanges and interactions between China and the West have brought a new experience to the audience.
The Spring Festival celebrations came to an end in a friendly atmosphere of laughter and all the guests took a photo together. Every country has its iconic culture, and when these cultures are impacted, rubbed, and fused, new works of art are born. This celebration is a vivid manifestation of the friendly exchanges between China and Macedonia. I hope that the friendship between China and Macedonia will last forever. The event stimulated the participants’ interest in Chinese and Chinese culture, expanded the influence of the Confucius Institute, and facilitated the development of Confucius Institutes in other cities outside the capital Skopje.