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浙江师范大学非洲研究院

一场意料之中的文化热恋!来自一位南非外交官给浙江的亲笔信

文化交流》杂志今日刊发格特大使撰写的文章《一场意料之中的文化热恋!》。格特大使在文中谈他对浙江和对中非关系的看法。

 

全文如下:

格特·格罗布勒先生曾是南非国际关系与合作部高级外交官,历任南非驻西班牙、日本、马达加斯加等国大使,目前为浙江师范大学非洲研究院高级研究员。

格特先生于20世纪60年代末毕业于南非自由州大学,随即进入南非外交部工作,其外交生涯涉及美国、英国、西班牙、德国、安道尔、日本、马达加斯加等国家和地区。他在南非外交系统工作近半个世纪,是南非外交史的特殊参与者、见证者。

今年初,作为浙江师范大学非洲研究院聘请的高级研究员,他来到浙江。几个月的生活和工作,让他切身感受到浙江的人文风情和社会发展。他将他眼中的浙江和对中非关系的看法记录了下来。

  

 

前不久,我怀着非常激动的心情从南非来到浙江师范大学非洲研究院任职。

我现在的所在地浙江省,与非洲远隔万里。浙江景色秀美,文化灿烂,历史悠久,物产丰富,经济发达。我最近还曾访问过杭州。在西湖边,感受着夕阳的秀丽和宁静,我心潮澎湃。一时间,我理解了为何浙江素以“鱼米之乡、丝绸之府、物华天宝、旅游天堂”而誉满中外。

抵达中国数周后,我再次意识到,世界真的变得越来越紧密融合,越来越相互依存。文化交流,对传递善意、建立相互尊敬和相互理解关系,对加强合作、为共同命运相向而行,都是不可或缺的。

 

01

 

幸运的是,文化合作与交流已成为全球常态。典范之一,就是通过不断加深友谊、合作和共同努力,中国和非洲之间的文化合作日益扩大。事实上,中国文化已经在非洲大陆留下坚实印记,非洲人喜爱中国文化体现的智慧和多姿多彩。

在过去的六七十年中,中国与更多的非洲国家签署了文化交流与合作协议。通过越来越多的中国援助和合作项目、日益增多的中文语言学校,以及在非洲发展和流行起来的传统中医、针灸、杂技、武术、中国餐馆等,中非文化交往日益频繁。我亲眼目睹这些,深感振奋。

而在另一方面,越来越多的中国人感受到非洲文化,包括音乐、舞蹈、服装和面具。事实上,只要去义乌国际商贸城(里面还设有非洲进口商品馆)以及广州的多个商品市场看看,你就能感受到非洲文化商品在中国的影响力。

 

所有这一切来自何处?

 

中国与非洲是人类文明的摇篮,中非友谊绵延数千年。历史记载,古代中国与非洲大约在公元前130年左右就有所接触。据记载,公元400年,埃及人曾来到中国,在7世纪到15世纪期间,中非贸易蓬勃发展。据说,埃及艳后克利奥帕特拉女王钟爱丝绸制成的锦衣华服,而这些绫罗绸缎很可能来自中国。后来,满载丝绸、陶瓷和铜钱的中国船只访问了如今位于东非的索马里和肯尼亚。所以说,中非之间的“文化热恋”源远流长。

但随着15世纪中叶欧洲殖民列者相继对非洲进行殖民扩张,中国与非洲的直接接触被迫中断。随之而来的,是非洲历史上的黑暗时期,非洲人民失去了土地、身份和国家主权。19世纪五六十年代,非洲开始摆脱殖民统治获得独立,中非之间的实质性合作与文化交流才得以恢复。

在谈到中国和非洲之间日益增长的友谊时,周恩来总理曾经表示:不光要介绍我们的文化,也要学习人家的文化。北京外国语大学因此开设亚洲和非洲语言专业,其中包括非洲的斯瓦西里语和豪萨语。这些举措促使中国可以更好地了解非洲文化。

196312月到19642月,周恩来总理访问非洲十国。之后,以文化合作与交流为一大重点的中非合作强劲增长。埃及不仅是首个与中国建立外交关系的非洲国家,而且还是首个与中国签署文化合作协定的非洲国家。

中国与非洲之间的文化交流已然取得长足发展,而文化合作也正是《中非合作论坛-北京行动计划(2019-2021)》所格外重视的。行动计划规定,通过执行政府间文化协议、在非洲开设更多中国文化中心,探索文化产业合作的各种可能性,以积极推动中国-非洲文化交流深入发展。

而另一项对中非未来的文化合作有长足影响的便是中国的“一带一路”倡议,这一定会让非洲受益匪浅。“一带一路”倡议远远超越经济贸易范畴,还侧重关注社会、文化、环保等方方面面。事实上,非洲已成为实施“一带一路”倡议的关键地区。通过加入丝绸之路剧院联盟、丝绸之路国际博物馆友好联盟和丝绸之路国际艺术节联盟等,非洲将获得各种振奋人心的机遇。

至于我的国家南非,我经常会出席中国驻南非使馆和其他非政府机构等举办的丰富多彩的文化活动。中国与南非在20004月签订了文化交流协议。协议签订以来,中国和南非的文化合作与交流正在日益加强。

过去几十年,中国与非洲的文化合作与交流已经深入到省一级。浙江东部沿海城市,在经济、文化、教育领域方面取得巨大成就,她在全球文化合作中的影响力也值得期待,特别是跟非洲之间日益发展的交流合作。杭州、宁波、金华、温州等城市已经与非洲的南非、埃塞俄比亚与摩洛哥等国签署了协议。

 

02

 

作为浙师大非洲研究院的研究员,我个人有幸目睹了浙师大与非洲之间若干文化交流项目的开展。这些项目影响深远,其中一些还有望推动中非关系扎实向前发展。

比如,浙师大非洲研究院在中国高等教育界率先全面研究非洲,助推非洲的地区、社会、经济等方面的发展。研究院的各项研究和活动集中在政治关系、国际关系、经济、教育、历史和文化方面。通过这些研究和活动,研究院将继续发起项目、开展研究、出版刊物和书籍,对中非合作作出积极贡献,增进教育、文化、民间合作、电影和媒体的相互了解。

浙师大非洲研究院的非洲影视研究中心就是文化合作的典范。该中心开展了多项有意义的文化活动,包括“非洲电影之夜”。在每周举办一次的“非洲电影之夜”里,中国和非洲师生观看非洲电影,展开深入讨论。中心每年举办一次“中非影视合作论坛”,旨在为中非电影的学术和产业各领域的沟通铺路架桥,推动更多的合作与共同制作。

除出版学术刊物之外,中心还制作了《非洲人在义乌》六集大型公共外交纪录片。这是中非电影工作团队首次合作完成的纪录片,讲述非洲人在中国的生活与工作。这部纪录片已在中国中央电视台四频道向全球观众播放,同时也登陆非洲多个电影节,并且在坦桑尼亚、赞比亚和其他非洲国家的电视台播放。

作为来浙师大不久的非洲人,我前所未有地强烈感受到中国和非洲之间因共同命运而结成的兄弟情谊。这一情谊的基础是我们相似的历史经历、患难见真情的友谊,以及共同面对的发展挑战。

在浙师大非洲研究院的工作和生活告诉我,中非有着友谊和合作的真诚情感。回到非洲之后,我将告诉非洲人民,为了中非的亲密友谊,为了让中非的文化热恋开花结果,浙江正在行动。

 

China and Africa:

 

A Cultural Love Affair

It was with great excitement that I arrived from South Africa recently to take up a post at the reputable Institute of African Studies, at Zhejiang Normal University in Jinhua.

 

So here I was, from far away Africa, in Zhejiang Province with its beautiful landscapes, rich cultural history, abundant resources and thriving economy. Recently I visited Hangzhou and I stood in awe, admiring the beauty and serenity of a sunset over West Lake.

No wonder that Zhejiang Province with its long history and rich culture, is known abroad , as a land of fish and rice,home to silk and tea, a destination of rich culture heritage and a paradise fortourists !

After a few weeks in China, I once again realized that the world is indeed becoming increasingly integrated and interdependent. Furthermore, cultural exchanges are an imperative, in creating good will, mutual respect and understanding, moving towards closer cooperation and a shared common destiny.

Fortunately cultural cooperation and exchangeshave become a common occurrence globally. An exemplary example of this is the growing cultural cooperation between Africa and China through an ever expanding friendship, partnership and mutual efforts. In fact, Chinese culture already has a strong footprint on the African continent and Africans love the wise, rich and colorful aspects of Chinese culture.

China has over past six to seven decades increasingly established cultural exchanges and cooperation agreements with dozens of African countries. It is encouraging to witness the proliferation of Chinese cultural manifestations in various parts of Africa viathe rising number of Chinese aid and cooperation projects, Confucius Institutes, Chinese language schools and the regular occurrence of traditional medicine, acupuncture, acrobatics and martial arts activities and of course Chinese food outlets and restaurants.

On the other hand, an increasing number of Chinese people today have a much greater awareness of African culture, its music, dance, costumes and masks. One simply has to visit the exciting markets like the Small Commodity Wholesale Market in the international trade City of Yiwu and its African Imports Emporium as well as markets in Guangzhou to witness the impact of African cultural goods in China.

Where did this all start? China and Africaare both the origins of ancient human civilizations and both China and Africa, as the cradle of all humankind, have made significant contributions to the progress of human civilization. The friendship between China and Africa has ahistory of several thousand years.

It has been often recorded that China inancient times had established contact with Africa at approximately 130 BC. It is further documented that the Egyptians reached China in 400 AD and in the period from the 7th to 15th century, healthy economic exchanges took place. It is said that the Egyptian queen Cleopatra was very fond of silk garments which most likely hadits origin in China. Later Chinese boats laden with silk, chinaware and coinsvisited ports in east Africa in modern day Somalia and Kenya! So the culturallove affair between China and Africa is indeed a long standing and growing one.

However this direct contact ended in the mid 15 the century when the European colonial powers embarked on its forced imperialist occupation ofAfrica .What ensued was a dark era of African history, characterized by theloss of land, identity and sovereignty. It was only after the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949 and after Africa had begun to rid itself ofthe burden of colonialism in the 1950's and 1960's, gaining their independence, that substantive cooperation, as well as cultural exchanges, between China and Africa were actively resumed.

Given the growing friendship between Chinaand Africa, Premier Zhou Enlai inter alia said that attention should be given to the languages of Africa to show respect for Africa's culture, pride and national identity.

The Beijing Foreign Studies Institute beganto teach Asian and African languages such as Swahili and Hausa which increasingly built bridges to Africa's culture. In the wake of a ten-country visit by Prime Minister Zhou Enlai to Africa in December 1963 and February 1964, Chinese cooperation with Africa showed growing momentum, with strong focus on cultural cooperation and exchanges. Not only was Egypt the first country to enter into diplomatic relations with China but also the first country to sign a Cultural Cooperation Agreement with this country.

Vast progress has thus been made with cultural cooperation which features proinently in the encouraging Action Plan of the important Forum on China -Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Beijing Action Plan (2019-2021) which makes provision for the active advancement of China-Africa cultural exchanges through the implementation of inter-governmental cultural agreements, opening more Chinese culture centers in Africa and exploring the possibilities of cooperation in cultural industries.

Another highly constructive aspect regarding the future of cultural cooperation is China's commendable Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) from which Africa stands to benefit greatly. The BRI goes beyond economic and commercial realms and also focuses on social, cultural and environmental and many other dimensions. In fact, Africa has now become a key region for the implementation of the BRI. Exciting opportunities will be also presented to enhance cultural cooperation through Africa's participationin the Silk Road International League of Theaters, the Silk Road international Museum Alliance and the Network of Silk Road Art festivals.

As far as my own country is concerned, I often participated in many colorful and exciting cultural events and activities in South Africa involving the Embassy of China, and a host of non-governmental institutions etc. A Cultural Agreement was signed in April 2000 and particularly since then Chinese and South African cultural cooperation and exchanges are growing from strength to strength.

Over past decades, the cultural cooperation and exchanges between China and Africa have flowed over to provincial level. The result is that cultural cooperation is thriving at all government levels with a multitude of partnership and cooperation agreements having been concluded.

Given the dynamic economic, social, cultural and educational achievements of Zhejiang province, it was to be expected that Zhejiang Province would be a key player in promoting cultural cooperation globally but also increasinglywith Africa. Zhejiang Province and cities like Hangzhou, Ningbo, Jinhua, Wenzhou, to name a few, have established cooperation arrangements with countries, provincesand cities abroad , also in Africa in countries such as South Africa, Ethiopia and Morocco.

As a foreign research fellow at the Institute of African Studies at Zhejiang Normal University (IASZNU), I have personally witnessed some impactful cultural exchange programs between IASZNU and Africa.

Some efforts are really promising inpushing the China-Africa relationship forward. For example, IASZNU, the first Institute for comprehensive African studies in China's higher education has and will continue to play, a key role in contributing to China's foreign policyand strategy in Africa as well as regional, social and economic development. It is also a key link contributing to stronger ties between Zhejiang Province and the continent. Through its focused research and activities in various sectors such as political relations, international relations, economy, education, history and culture, IASZNU continues to initiate projects, research andpublications which contribute constructively to the growing cooperation between China and Africa as well as a better mutual understanding on education, culture and people to people cooperation , film and the media.

An excellent example of practical cultural cooperation, is the Center for African Film and TV Research under IASZNU which fosters many meaningful cultural programs including the African Movie night, where Chinese and African teachers and students watch an African movie once a weekand have meaningful discussions. The Center also holds a biannual Forum on China-Africa Film and TV cooperation which aims to bridge the academic and industrial spheres of film in China and Africa, to boost more cooperation and co-production. Other than its academic publications, the center has also produced a 6-episode documentary film titled Africans in Yiwu, which has been acclaimed as the first documentary film co-directed by a team of Chinese and African filmmakers, focused on the presence of Africans in China. This film has shown onCCTV-4 internationally, and at the same time has premiered in African film festivals, and broadcasted on TV in Tanzania, Zambia and other African countries.

As a newly arrived African at ZJNU in Jinhua in the remarkable Zhejiang province, I strongly sense the fraternal bonds of a shared destiny between China and Africa, more than ever, which is based on our similar historical experiences and ordeals, our friend in need relationship as well as our common development challenges. I realize, based on my stay here at IASZNU, that China and Africa have forged a real and sincerefeeling of friendship and cooperation. The constructive role that Zhejiang Province, its government, educational institutions and its people are playing to bring our respective civilizations closer together and to nurture the blooming China and Africa cultural love affair, is a message I will take home with me to Africa, when I eventually return.

 

 

作者:格特·格罗布勒

发表时间:2019-05-13

浙江师范大学非洲研究院

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