The first speaker was Mr. Ralph Thomas, the ambassador from Jamaica. He mainly discussed what culture is and mentioned its various aspects. Besides, he advocated that the government should recognize the role of cultural elements and maximize culture’s impact on economy, society and people’s life.
Mr. Friis Arne Petersen, the ambassador from Denmark, pointed out that traditional and modern cultures need to be mutually integrated and complementary to each other. He paid special attention to the status quo in China and provided suggestions about the social and political policies that the Chinese government might be able to take to facilitate China’s development.
Mr. Zamir Awan, Counselor from the Pakistani Embassy first gave a brief introduction of Pakistan and then discussed the cultural relations between China and Pakistan. He used the expression “铁哥们” (the most loyal and best friend) to highlight the two countries’ bilateral relationship. Meanwhile, he also mentioned the two countries were also faced with big challenges posed by modernization in their development of culture.
Then Mr. José David Murillo, Counselor from the Embassy of Costa Rica, displayed pictures of beautiful landscape of his country and mainly pointed out their strong awareness of environmental protection.
The next speaker was Ms. Rhenita B. Rodriguez from the Philippines. She gave an introductive report about the development and current situation of Philippines’ creative cultural industry. She mentioned that animation, fashion and design are the three major brands of the country, which had attained global recognition.
The last speaker, Mr. Chang Yuanliang from the Library of Beijing Huazang, delivered his speech on the loss of traditional Chinese culture in modern times. In the midst of globalization, he urged that Chinese people should preserve the good Chinese tradition and cut out the rotten part of the “cultural apple.”
After the individual speeches, the students raised questions on what attitudes we should have towards traditional and modern culture, and then discussed it with the ambassadors and representatives. The first question was whether GDP could fully reflect the prosperity of the cultural industry. The second one was concerned about the challenges China was facing in protecting its mother tongue against the wide spread of English learning. The third question was how globalization influenced cultures and how we could keep the uniqueness of one particular culture. Then came the last question about relationship between commercialization and culture. The ambassadors and representatives gave various opinions on these questions and showed great concerns on the approaches for all-round development and protection of cultures.
After the discussion, all of the ambassadors, representatives, and students took a group picture together.
Written by: Guo Danyang, Zhang Kexin & Zhang Wuyang
Edited by: Huang Tao