VIENNA, 4 May (BelTA - Xinhua). - The United Nations (UN) family in Vienna is marking Chinese Language Day with a spate of cultural events.
More than 600 people, including representatives of Vienna-based international organizations, diplomats and UN employees, attended the grand opening ceremony on Tuesday of the event at the Vienna International Center (VIC).
This year's event, themed "Home of Confucius, Hub of the Belt and Road," features a host of exhibitions on east China's Shandong Province, the birthplace of the ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius. The exhibits include photos of the province's renowned landmarks, local signature products as well as Chinese calligraphy works and paintings by local artists.
Musicians from Shandong also performed the province's folk music pieces with traditional Chinese musical instruments at the opening ceremony, drawing rounds of applause from the audience.
At the ceremony, Li Song, China's Permanent Representative to the UN in Vienna, said that as one of the six official languages of the UN, the Chinese language has helped convey the UN's voices to the world and contributed to the UN's effective functioning.
The Chinese envoy called for upholding multilateralism and cultural diversity and promoting people-to-people exchanges and cooperation.
As part of the event, volunteers from the Confucius Institute at the University of Vienna on Tuesday set up a stand in the VIC where they wrote the names of visitors in Chinese on paper slips and gave them as gifts.
Displaying the slip with his Chinese name at the ceremony, Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), praised the "beautiful Chinese calligraphy" and said the Chinese language "greatly enriches our world."
A forum on cultural exchanges was also held on Tuesday on the sidelines of the Chinese Language Day event. The forum gathered officials and scholars to discuss ways to advance exchanges between different civilizations.
This year's Chinese Language Day event at the UN in Vienna, which will run until May 5, is co-hosted by China's Permanent Mission to the UN in Vienna and the Shandong provincial government.