On the night of January 24, the Chinese Embassy in Slovenia and the Confucius Institute Ljubljana (CI Ljubljana), which is jointly run by SUIBE and the University of Ljubljana, hosted the 2019 Spring Festival Reception to welcome the Chinese Lunar New Year of the Pig.
Ambassador Wang Shunqin extended festival greetings and best wishes to the distinguished guests, including Alojz Kovšca, President of the National Council of Slovenia, Mitja Bervar, ex-President of the National Council of Slovenia, Danilo Türk, former President of Slovenia, as well as Slovenian friends from all circles of life, diplomatic envoys of various countries, and members of the Chinese community.
In his remarks, Ambassador Wang stated that as the pig stood for wealth and good fortune in traditional Chinese culture, he hoped that China and Slovenia would go a step further in bilateral relations, making new progress in practical cooperation and strengthening traditional friendship between the two countries in the coming New Year.
The reception started with a traditional Chinese lion dance performance presented by ethnic Chinese in Slovenia. Slovene performers invited by CI Ljubljana gave a dozen traditional Chinese cultural performances with a combination of Chinese and Slovene styles, which brought constant thunderous applause from the audience. They gave a harp performance of “Thoughts in a Tranquil Night” and “Drinking Alone with the Moon” based on the poems bearing the same title by Li Bai, a famed poet in the Tang Dynasty, and played “Dressing Table”, a type of court music of the Ming Dynasty, with Western chamber stringed instruments. When they played the music of Chinese popular songs such as “Sweet” and “The Moon Represents My Heart”, many members of the Slovene audience quietly started to sing along.
Most impressively, the song and dance performance “Hug Me If You Love Me” by some ten pupils from Turnovo Primary School in Ljubljana stunned the audience. The children sung and danced on the stage, holding cards with lyrics of the song written in the Chinese and the Slovenian language.
Danijela Voljč, Director of CI Ljubljana, noted that the art performance this year differed from previous years in that the Chinese music, songs and dances were mostly performed by the Slovenians. “This is a showcase for the Chinese language teaching and learning at CI Ljubljana,” she told reporters, “and an opportunity to demonstrate the efforts made by Slovenians to spread Chinese language and culture.”