The Malta Independent 5 March 2024, Tuesday
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Bridging cultures: ‘China in Maltese Eyes' launched in Malta

Sunday, 5 November 2023, 11:00 Last update: about 5 months ago

Last week, the China Cultural Centre in Malta co-hosted with Heritage Malta the book launch of China in Maltese Eyes in the Gran Salon of the National Museum of Archaeology. The book is a collection of unique and diverse experiences of Maltese people from all walks of life, including officials, artists, scholars, journalists and students, who had the privilege of exploring China.

Peng Yijun, Chargé d'Affaires of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China to Malta, commended the collaborative efforts between the China Cultural Centre in Malta and Heritage Malta to publish this book. He said that the narratives in this publication not only shed light on the profound cultural heritage and beauty of China but also offer unique and valuable perspectives. He hoped that this endeavour would inspire more Maltese citizens to explore China.

Albert Marshall, executive chair of the Arts Council, and one of the book's contributors, praised the idea behind this project which acts as a bridge between the two countries. As one who has always sought to promote opportunities for cultural exchanges between Malta and China, using the China Cultural Centre in Malta as a catalyst to achieve concrete results, he was glad to contribute in this book which will strengthen the strong ties between the two countries. Marshall attended the event on behalf of Dr Owen Bonnici, Minister for the National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government.

Mario Cutajar, chairman of Heritage Malta, said that this publication was another fruitful collaboration between the agency and the China Cultural Centre in Malta. He recalled his first visit to China in 2007 when he took the Terracotta Warriors back to Xi'an after they had been exhibited at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta. He was impressed by China back then but this was nothing when compared to the admiration he felt after seeing the huge development that China had gone through during his recent visit last September. He stated that since the cultures of Malta and China are vastly different, a book like China in Maltese Eyes helps to shed further insight into this beautiful country. He also stressed the importance and unique role of culture in promoting mutual understanding and friendship between peoples.

Yuan Yuan, director of the China Cultural Centre in Malta, remarked that the narratives from the contributors of this book have brought to light the remarkable cultural heritage, the breathtaking landscapes and the profound depth of China. Through distinctive perspectives, they not only highlight the shared appreciation for culture and history that unites the two peoples of China and Malta but also serve as a testament to the enduring friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

Fiona Vella, the editor of this book and one of the contributors, explained how this initiative, fully supported by two directors of the China Cultural Centre in Malta, Yang Xiaolong and Yuan Yuan, weathered the daunting challenges of Covid-19 until it finally came to fruition with collective efforts of all stakeholders. Vella found it a most unforgettable and rewarding journey to be with this publication from its inception to its successful completion. She hoped that this book would entice more Maltese people to learn about China, and ideally, inspire them to explore the country in person.

The book is available from all Heritage Malta shops

 


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