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Feature: Chinese culture exhibition held at University of Rwanda******
KIGALI, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) -- Sights that epitomize Chinese culture filled a students' hall at the recent Chinese Culture Exhibition at the University of Rwanda's College of Education Rukara campus, in eastern Rwanda.
The first to be organized outside the capital city Kigali, since the outbreak of coronavirus, the theme of this year's event was to experience Chinese culture as part of celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Rwanda.
The event organized by the Confucius Institute at the University of Rwanda featured several parts, where winners walked away with prizes. Singing Chinese poetry, speaking Chinese, writing Chinese characters, tasting Chinese tea, wearing Chinese clothes, singing Chinese songs, dancing Chinese and drawing Chinese arts were the highlights.
The event attracted students of all academic levels practicing to speak Chinese or writing Chinese characters, or who wanted to learn more about Chinese culture.
Selected students introduced their fellow students to Chinese culture on display.
Students were first charmed by Kungu-fu performances by young people from Chow Mantis Club from Nyamirambo in Kigali, and encouraged to take part in cultural challenges guided by other Chinese language students.
In the exhibition hall, Chinese costumes were one of the most eye-catching pieces at the cultural exhibition, where students took turns to try them out and pose for pictures.
"Yes, I'm excited to put on this Chinese attire," Concessa Mushimiyimana, a level-one Mathematics, Biology and Education student told Xinhua, proudly showing off the outfit.
"Singing Chinese songs, dancing, Kungu-fu, it was all exciting," she said, adding that at any opportunity she would start to take Chinese language lessons.
Alexis Kamukama, another student, said the exhibition shone light on various aspects of Chinese culture.
Speaking at the event, Florien Nsanganwimana, the Acting Principal of the University of Rwanda-College of Education, thanked the Chinese government for the good collaboration with the Rwandan government, without which he said the establishment of the Confucius Institute couldn't have been possible.
"Culture is something broad, entailing the whole life of the population. Each culture has something unique worth learning from. This exhibition event is therefore an opportunity to open our minds, give us an exposure to Chinese culture. You can learn from their culture," he said.
The college's wish is to hold the exhibitions more regularly so that students can learn from it.
Nsanganwimana encouraged more students to enroll for free Chinese language lessons at the institute.
"The world is full of opportunities, you may need to travel to China for further studies or business. And language being a tool of communication, you will need it," he said.
Zhang Xiaohong, with the Chinese Embassy in Rwanda, observed that the exhibition event is such a chance to have a glimpse of Chinese language and culture.
"The friendship between countries lies in the affinity between the people. Our people-to-people exchanges have enormously expanded, and mutual learning of the two cultures has been greatly promoted," he said.
Language and culture, according to him, are the bridges of communication and catalyst of the people to people exchanges.
Over the past half-century, Rwanda and China have fostered a multidimensional and full-fledged relationship.
Zhang underlined that through the Chinese language and culture, you can only better connect with one fifth of the world's population living on another continent, but also grasp the latest news of the biggest developing country, and read into the country's 5000-thousand years of history.
"We have also seen many examples of Rwandan young people, who learned Chinese and studied in China, and made great contributions to the society of Rwanda," he said.
The relations in areas ranging from politics, trade, investment, infrastructure, to education, have yielded remarkable results, according to the official, and the two countries are building a relationship of brotherhood.
Over the years, people-to-people exchanges have enormously expanded, with over 5,000 students enrolled at the Confucius Institute at the University of Rwanda, and more than 2,000 registered with the Rwanda Kung-Fu Wushu Federation.
Noting that hundreds of Rwandan students have received scholarships to study in China every year, Zhang said more and more Chinese begin to learn about Rwanda and visit the country for sightseeing and business.
Zeng Guangyu, co-director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Rwanda explained that the event focused on displaying Chinese culture.
The purpose of the activity is to get to know, understand and experience Chinese culture through different ways, said Zeng.
Students usually do not have the opportunity to focus on Chinese culture, so they are able to experience the real and dimensional Chinese culture by participating in the event, he added.
Many of the challengers have not learned Chinese; they were starting from scratch, according to Zeng. Enditem
UK's Johnson scraps COVID******
Tourists wearing masks to protect against the spread of coronavirus stand outside Windsor Castle on February 17.
British Prime Minister Boris onMonday said he would end all coronavirus restrictions in Englandincluding mandatory self-isolation for people with COVID-19 andfree testing, drawing skepticism from some scientists andpolitical opponents.
Johnson's "living with COVID" plan has sparked alarm that itis premature and will leave the country vulnerable to new viralvariants, but the government says it has provided more testingthan most other countries, and must now curb the cost.
The plan to ditch the remaining legal restrictions is apriority for many of Johnson's Conservative Party lawmakers,whose discontent over his scandal-ridden leadership hasthreatened his grip on power. Some critics think the plan isalso a bid to divert attention from those scandals.
Britain has reported 160,00 deaths from COVID-19, theseventh-highest death toll in the world.
As Europe retainssocial distancing and vaccine rules, Johnson is moving to repealany pandemic requirements that impinge on personal freedom,saying it is time the public took responsibility.
He will lean even more on the rollout of booster vaccines,with the government offering extra booster doses to the mostvulnerable, as well as other pharmaceuticals interventions suchas antiviral treatments.
"Restrictions pose a heavy toll on our economy, our society,our mental wellbeing and on the life chances of our children,and we do not need to pay that cost any longer," Johnson toldparliament.
"So let us learn to live with this virus and continueprotecting ourselves and others without restricting ourfreedoms."
Johnson said that the legal requirement to self-isolate forpeople who test positive for COVID-19 would be removed on February 24while free universal testing would end on April 1.
The devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and NorthernIreland have set their own COVID-19 restrictions, but the amountof money they have to spend on testing will flow from decisionsmade by the UK government.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was scathing onTwitter, writing: "To allow significant dismantling of thetesting infrastructure built up in last two years would beinexcusable negligence given ongoing risks."
'Scale this back'
Johnson said that some surveillance of the coronavirus wouldremain in place, allowing for a rapid response to new variants,which could be quickly scaled up.
But he cited the much-weakened link between COVID-19 casesand deaths due to vaccines, antivirals and the lower severity ofthe Omicron variant as informing his decision.
"It is only because we know Omicron is less severe, thattesting for Omicron on the colossal scale we have been doing ismuch less important and much less valuable in preventing seriousillness," Johnson said.
"This came at a vast cost... We must now scale this back."
Johnson said that symptomatic testing would remain availablefor at-risk groups and social care staff, and would work withretailers to allow anyone who wants to buy tests.
Britain has been unusual in providing free lateral flowtests to people who want to for months. In contrast, USPresident Joe Biden offered limited free rapid tests tohouseholds for the first time last month.
Leaders in Scotland and Wales had criticized Johnson's plansto reduce the availability of testing ahead of the announcement,while leader of the opposition Keir Starmer also said that theplan was ill-conceived.
"We can't turn off Britain's radar before the war is won.'Ignorance is bliss' is not a responsible approach to a deadlyvirus," Labour Party leader Starmer said.
Stuttgart snatch 2******
BERLIN, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) -- Goals from Konstantinos Mavropanos and Philipp Forster helped Stuttgart to beat Wolfsburg and secure its first away win of the season at the 15th round in Bundesliga on Saturday.。
Both sides needed some time to gain a foothold into the encounter as both teams had to make injury substitutions early on.。
The substitutions disrupted the flow of the game hence the spectators had to wait until the 25th minute when the clash suddenly sparked to life as Mavropanos opened the scoring out of the blue after hammering the ball from 18 meters into the top right corner.。
The "Wolves" responded with frenetic attacks but lacked in ideas to overcome Stuttgart's bulwark. Only Maximilian Arnold came close after forcing Florian Muller to make a safe following a free kick at the half hour mark.。
Stuttgart continued efficient after the restart as Tanguy Coulibaly's cross into the area allowed Forster to double the advantage with 63 minutes played.。
Wolfsburg still lacked in precision in front of the target as Lukas Nmecha pulled wide from promising position in the 70th minute.。
The Swabians had the chance to make it three in the 80th minute but for all that Omar Marmoursh chipped the ball to the crossbar following a handball penalty.。
"I think we played very disciplined especially defensively wise. We scored two nice goals and deserved to win. In the end, we slacked off a bit," Stuttgart head coach Pellegrino Matarazzo said.。
"We didn't play well while Stuttgart establish a two-goal lead out of two chances. We created a few chances but were unlucky. We are in a bad phase now. We need to defend better, and we have to improve until Tuesday," Wolfsburg head coach Florian Kohfeldt said.。
With the win Stuttgart stay in 15th meanwhile Wolfsburg slip to the 10th place of the table.。
The following fixtures conclude the 15th round on Sunday: bottom side Greuther Furth clash with Union Berlin whereas Eintracht Frankfurt encounter third placed Bayer Leverkusen. Enditem。