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HomenewsWorldUN Celebrates Chic Chinese

UN Celebrates Chic Chinese

On April 20, the United Nations (UN) Chinese Language Day and the second CMG Overseas Chinese Language Video Festival were celebrated with the theme of “China chic.” China chic, or guochao (国潮), started with the creation of trendy designs mixed with elements from traditional Chinese culture. It became widely known after the sportswear brand Li-Ning took the fashion world by storm with its Eastern-style designs at New York Fashion Week in 2018. That led to a growing number of Chinese brands creating a wave of China chic. “When we talked about China chic several years ago, it was just a kind of consumption trend created by brands. However, it has evolved into a cultural phenomenon favored by young people, a group proud of their culture,” said Ji Fangfang, associate professor with the Institute of Journalism and Communication at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Tatiana Valovaya, director-general of the UN Office at Geneva, said that for over a decade, Language Days have been celebrated to encourage cultural diversity and strengthen multilingualism, and that the UN in Geneva sees the importance of supporting multilingualism as a key component in advancing its agenda of Sustainable Development Goals, adding that Chinese is one of the world’s oldest languages and so the legacy and wisdom it carries are an essential part of our collective humanity.

The festival highlighted China’s ancient culture and China chic—a modern take on traditional Chinese heritage is an opportunity to promote Chinese cultural diversity among the younger generation and to empower those for whom Chinese is not a first language. Mr. Shen Haixiong, president and editor-in-chief of China Media Group, said that Chinese Language Day is designed to celebrate the diversity of both language and culture, thus promoting multilateralism. He added that, as the flagship state media organization, China Media Group will continue to work to break down barriers and promote mutual understanding, creating a more peaceful world and building a community with a shared future for humankind. Haixiong believes that by bringing together thought, art, and technology, the festival can better share how traditional Chinese culture has developed and continues to innovate.

H. E. Mr. Chen Xu, ambassador extraordinary and permanent representative of the People’s Republic of China to the United Nations Office at Geneva, said in his speech that without understanding the splendid Chinese culture, it was hard to really understand the unique spiritual world of the Chinese people, and similarly, without understanding the developing trends of modern China, it was difficult to understand China’s present and future. The video festival showed original video works from nonnative Chinese speakers under the China chic theme, with a video contest called “Foreigners Look at China Chic” and an awards ceremony.

Nearly a thousand video entries from 45 countries and regions were received, and 14 works were selected for nine awards by a jury composed of people with various backgrounds in China and abroad.

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