The Confucius Institute of the Universitat de València is awarded the prize ‘Portada del Mes’ of Levante-EMV newspaper. The newspaper has appreciated that the Confucius Institute is a ‘cultural bridge between Valencia and China’. The Principal, Esteban Morcillo, praised this new ‘heritage of Valencian people’. The Director of Confucius Institute of Universitat de València is Vicent Andreu.
During the award ceremony, the attendees smiled with the first Levante-EMV cover entirely written in Chinese characters in its 144-year history. The director of Confucius Institute of Universitat de València, Vicent Andreu, told how the historic headline was translated for this commemorative edition: “Newspaper of East Wind”.
In the words of Julio Monreal, the newspaper’s director, the aim is not only to outline its teaching activity, the exchange of students that it has encouraged or the landmarks that it has achieved: to be Model Institute (there are only six in Europe and 15 in the world out of the 500 Confucius Institute of the planet), to publish the only cultural magazine written in Chinese and Spanish for all the Spanish speakers or to have achieved 5000 students attend its courses. ‘It is also awarded its role as connection, as a bridge between València and China’, a ‘millenary culture that not only has a leading role at culture, but it also starts to do so in economy, finances and in all aspects’, affirmed Monreal.
Monreal praised Vicent Andreu for his ‘unstoppable force’ and ‘enthusiasm’ for making difficult to imagine dreams come true. Andreu expressed gratitude for the prize and he highlighted the pioneer character of the Confucius Institute of the Universitat de València.
Andreu revealed his project ‘of expanding the classrooms of Confucius to public and private schools of the Valencian Community’. He also disclosed the creation of a magazine in Chinese and Spanish for children in order to continue progressing in the leap of a barrier, the one that separated both cultures. Society has been destroying it through knowledge, travels and crossed interests.
In the award ceremony, which took place in the headquarters of the newspaper, the Principal of the Universitat de València, Esteban Morcillo, wanted to highlight a sentence said by Monreal: ‘Our Confucius Institute’. According to Morcillo, this sentence is the greater achievement that the UV ever dreamed of when the adventure started, like the Chinese explorer Zheng He.
‘The Universitat de València has achieved that the Confucius Institute is not only a part of the university, but also a part of the Valencian people’. Morcillo explained that the link goes beyond the language domain, where Confucius is the only official examiner of the Chinese certificates.
‘Language is very important, but culture is what unites people’, he said. The Principal said that apart from the relationships with Governments, the UV aims at uniting people. This is the reason why he encouraged to ‘continue consolidating and protecting this 10-year old creature that speaks Chinese and was born in Valencia.
Sandra Gómez, the deputy mayor of the Valencia City Hall, spoke about the common interests that can be stablished between two cities which share more than rice, gunpowder, silk and ceramic. A month after her travel to China to sign the twinning with the city of Chengdu, Gómez placed emphasis on the ‘key role’ of Confucius for building closer relationships.
‘China is the fastest growing market in Valencia, with 15% more visitors and 14% more tourism night spent’. For the Chinese businessmen the Confucius is also a place to lean on. They encouraged the Valencian businessmen to expand their horizons. They advised the Valencian counterparts not to keep as before. This means to trade only with wine, oil and jam. ‘There are plenty of things which fit in this huge market’ said Nacho Guerras, collaborator of the Chinese businessmen.