|Greetings by H. E. ZHENG Qingdian for Dragon Boat Festival|
|June 6, 2011, Confucius Institute, UWI, Mona|
It is always a pleasure to visit a campus, relishing its academic atmosphere,youthful vibrance, time-honoured tradition and freedom of thoughts. Especially there is no better time for me to visit the Mona Campus of University of the West Indies than today, the first Chinese traditional festival that I spend since I set my foot on Jamaica exactly a month ago. Because here I can spend the Festival with Jamaicans who love Chinese culture, which makes me feel at home, and my home back in China - Hunan Province is the place where the Festival originated 2300 years ago.
During the past month, I have met his Excellency Sir Patrick Allen, Governor-General of Jamaica, the Honourable Prime Minister Bruce Golding, the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister Kenneth Baugh and other public figures of Jamaica and leaders of the Chinese Community here. I have also met Dr. Bell-Hutchinson, Campus Registrar of the UWI, Mona Campus, and Professor LU Shaogang, Dr Hogarth, Directors of the Confucius Institute. Through these meetings, I felt the warmth between China and Jamaica, between UWI and Chinese universities. Prime Minister told me last Friday that the Chinese community had made great contribution to Jamaican society, and some Jamaicans are studying or settling down in China. The Ocean hasn't quite separated our people. And I can't agree more. The Confucius Institute here is serving as a bridge across the ocean, bringing Chinese language, culture, including the Dragon Boat Festival to Jamaican people, and thus bringing closer our hearts.
As I know, the Confucius Institute is a result of close and productive cooperation between my predecessor and Professor Gordon Shirley, between Chinese Embassy in Jamaica and UWI, Mona Campus. I can assure everybody here that I will not only carry on with this cause, but also do my uttermost to expand and deepen the cooperation between UWI, Mona Campus and Chinese universities.
I should thank Professor LU Shaogang, Dr Hogarth for holding the reception celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival, and telling the Jamaican people the stories and customs behind this festival. So Chinese culture is not abstract. You can feel it, you can taste it, you can hear it, and if you happen to have a dragon boat, you can row it. If all that can take you back to 2300 years ago and think of Qu Yuan, and even read his life stories and poems, you will become a master of Chinese.
So without much ado, let experience the Dragon Boat. Let's roll!