The Vice Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Professor Ebenezer Oduro Owusu has underscored the need for Ghanaians to take their culture serious if they want to connect to the rest of the world. According to him any country that loses the essence of its culture cannot set itself on the path of real development. He explained that culture is a very significant part of our progress as a country because, "we depend on culture to take so many steps as far as development is concerned.” "Ask yourself how many of the cultures that we have are being taught in our schools. Our history is gone as a nation, our culture is gone so where do we go from here. So I will plead with people in authority to make sure that at least as a nation we are able to trace our culture,” he said. He was speaking at the celebration of the Chinese Spring festival in Ghana at the University of Ghana Basic Schools at the Legon campus Wednesday. A performance of the Chinese classic dance flowery march by students of University of Ghana basic school The Spring Chinese Festival is considered a major holiday that ushers the Chinese New Year and is rooted in a 4,000 year history. It emphasises a century old significance of Chinese culture and traditions and carries the aspiration of the Chinese people for a better life in the New Year. "Apart from the preservation of a country's ideology, history, and the way it does its things, it also fosters relationship between individuals, institutions and nations as a whole", Prof. Oduro Owusu said. He advised the gathering especially the school children present to study at least one foreign language especially Chinese as a second language which he believes will give them a competitive advantage in the world of work and business. "We cannot build any meaningful relationship between us and the Chinese if we do not learn the language, because it builds the bridge between the two countries" "As we seek an improvement in our relationship with the Chinese let us also take the culture serious same way they are taking ours serious so we can together build a healthier relationship and country," Prof Oduro stated. The Chinese Ambassador to Ghana Madam Sun Baohong said the fruitful economic cooperation enjoyed by both countries is embedded in cultural relations which serve as a strong driving force for the development of bilateral relations. Chinese Ambassador to Ghana Madam Sun Baohong Madam Baohong added that continued expansion and assimilation of the Chinese language and culture in Ghana has further strengthened the bond between the two countries. She said, guided by the concepts of innovation, cooperation, inclusiveness and sharing experiences of other international language and culture, the teaching and dissemination of Chinese culture has seen a steady growth with currently over 2,300 students. “I hope Confucius Institute will keep promoting the outstanding Chinese culture, and assimilating the excellent Ghanaian cultural achievements to push for the localization of the institute, she stated” School children of the University of Ghana Basic Schools and the Rising sun Montessori performed a variety of Chinese cultural and traditional art, dance and poetry to welcome the Chinese lunar New Year. Several Chinese companies resident in Ghana presented a total amount of 81,127 to the Vice-chancellor to aid the construction of a model Confucius Institute at the University of Ghana campus. They are: 1. Ghana Association of Chinese Societies and Ghana Chinese Chamber of Commerce - $60,000 2. Ghana Chinese News - $11,500 3. China Enterprises chamber of commerce in Ghana $4,627 4. Wynca Sunshine Agric Products and Trading Co. Ltd - $5,000
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