Opening of GXNU Ninth International Cultural Carnival: International Students from Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar Celebrate the New Year

Ningyi

Guangxi Normal University celebrated one of its most anticipated cultural festivals of the year, the International Cultural Carnival, on 14th April 2018. The opening ceremony of the ninth annual International Cultural Carnival was organized by the Office of International Exchanges and College of International Culture and Education in the square in front of the library at GXNU’s Yucai Campus, and included the New Year festivities of several Southeast Asian countries (mainly Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar). Su Guifa, Vice President of GXNU, Consul-General Chairat Porntipwarawet of the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Nanning, Consul-General Vansy Vilignaphone of Laos Consulate-General in Nanning, leaders of GXNU’s Office of International Exchanges and College of International Culture and Education and nearly a thousand teachers and students participated in the festival’s opening ceremony and the celebrations that followed soon after. 

On the morning of 14th April, international students from ASEAN countries made up 4 celebration teams representing Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar respectively, before showing up at the square, and kicking off the day’s grand celebrations. Su Guifa, Vice President of GXNU, delivered a memorable speech in which he recognized the achievements in foreign exchanges made by GXNU in recent years, and extended his warmest regards and best wishes to our international students and foreign teachers. Following that, the Consul-General Chairat Porntipwarawet of the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Nanning delivered a speech in which he expressed his appreciation for the efforts made by all teachers and international students in making the festival a success, before reading a poem he had written himself. As a mark of respect for the elders, international student representatives – dressed in their traditional costumes – then proceeded to serve drinking water to the leaders and the distinguished guests before presenting them with flowers. 

Awe-inspiring traditional shows were then performed by GXNU’s Chinese and international students from ASEAN countries for the audience. After these shows, the Songkran water-sprinkling activity for blessings of peace and happiness took place and lasted for more than an hour, which international students actively participated in by using water ladles, squirt guns and water pumps, thereby prompting more and more people to join in. The scene quickly turned into a sea of joy. 

On one side of the square, there were stalls set up for teachers and students to try ASEAN food items such as cold sour and spicy chicken noodles, Thai fried rice noodles, fried chicken with garlic, fried Southern Thai Style minced pork with chili sauce, dried sweet potato, coconut juice with sago and Thai milk tea. 

On the afternoon of April 14, students were asked to form pairs and hold hands as part of an activity organized by GXNU's International Student Communication Association for the purposes of helping international students adapt to their new learning environment and life at GXNU. The activity made it possible to further strengthen friendships between international and Chinese students and helped many of them to learn more about the history of GXNU's development. Over a hundred international and Chinese students then proceeded to visit the GXNU History Museum and GXNU Vietnam Memorial Hall in pairs. 

The evening of April 14 saw the ASEAN Countries' New Year Celebration Party take place in the auditorium of Tian Jiabing Institute at GXNU’s Yucai Campus. The main performers were from Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. Before the party, the Consul-General Vansy Vilignaphone of Laos Consulate-General in Nanning shed light on how the festivities of the day had undoubtedly managed to strengthen the friendships between the ASEAN countries and China and had helped promote mutual understanding between all involved. She also spoke of her expectations in regards to making more achievements in different academic spheres by both ASEAN institutes and their Chinese counterparts. The Consul-General Chairat Porntipwarawet of the Royal Thai Consulate-General in Nanning also made a speech and gave books as gifts to GXNU’s Thailand Cultural Center. After that, teachers and students from China and ASEAN countries sang and danced together, enjoying a wonderful evening spent in special company. 

The International Cultural Carnival implemented more than 10 different Chinese and foreign activities each of which was unique due to their level of cultural variety, innovative form and meaningful content. Activities such as Indonesian Culture Day, GXNU English Speaking Contest, "The Voice of CICE" Singing Contest and visits to Guangxi made by over a hundred Cambodian families all took place during the International Cultural Carnival.

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