您做在的位置: 中国投资 > 封面故事 > 塞夫琳十二天中国纪行 Twelve…

塞夫琳十二天中国纪行 Twelve Days in China(2)

Day Two:Language is not aproblem

□ Time:  morning, June the15th, 2016

□ Location: China Radio International (CRI), Beijing

□ Reporter: Wang Meiling

The day was cool and clear after the rain.I accompanied Seveline to take part in the live broadcast show of Swahili CRI.Waiting outside the gate of CRI, we stood in the shade, but Seveline said shewanted to bathe in the sun. She told us that she liked the weather of Beijingvery much, and the air quality was very good, just like Nairobi.

Swahili CRI was the only domestic mediaauthorized to broadcast the live interview of Seveline on foreign platforms.Swahili is a Bantu language with estimated 100million speakers, topping thelist of the most popular language in Africa. It is the only official languagein Tanzania, and one of the national languages of Kenya and the Democratic Republicof Congo. It is a lingua franca in Zambia, Malawi, Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda,Mozambique, and serves as the working language of the African Union.

Meeting the Swahili translator at theairport last night, Seveline expressed her surprise at Chinese people speakingSwahili, “Wow, you can speak our language? Where did you learn it?” We told herthat Swahili had been taught for several decades in Beijing Foreign LanguageUniversity and Communication University of China, and there were people whocould speak it long time ago.

We arrived at the office of Swahili CRI andmet several African reporters from Kenya. Seeing familiar faces and hearing herhometown language, Seveline was cheered up. As everybody prepared for the liveinterview in the studio, the atmosphere was very relaxed, just like a casualchat.

The person in charge of Swahili CRI talkedabout the history of this program. It was officially launched in 1961 and hasnow developed into a comprehensive international media covering eastern andmiddle Africa, reaching nearly 100million people. CRI has set up FM radiostations in three major Eastern African cities and launched a MW radio stationcovering the whole territory of Kenya.

The show was conducted in Swahili andSeveline’s families and friends could hear her voice, which made her veryexcited.

During the “international call session” ofthe show, Seveline spoke to her mother on the phone, in a language neitherEnglish nor Swahili. We couldn’t understand what she was saying, but she seemedreally happy and took great comfort talking to her mum.

□ Time: afternoon, June the 15th, 2016

□ Location: Office of the China Investment Magazine

□ Reporter: He Liwei

After the show at CRI, we went back to theoffice of China Investment to have lunch in the canteen.

That noon, the choices were braised pork,steamed fish, chicken leg, broccoli, toufu, stewed white fungus, egg soup andetc. She asked such questions as what the dish was called, what the ingredientswere and whether it was spicy or not. Finally she chose a chicken leg, a bow ofrice and a cup of yogurt.

The event of Chinese-African YouthSolidarity was going to be held in our office that afternoon.

Since it was announced in May that themagazine would invite Seveline to visit China, we had been planning, preparingand anticipating this event. Everyone was busy doing his or her own job andthis was an occasion highlighting the hospitality and warmth of the Chinesepeople. Seveline made us keenly aware, more than ever, that we are Chinese. Anddeep down we felt as if we were fulfilling our dreams more than hers.

China Investment also invited Mr. LiJiangning, director of the Department of African Affairs, Ministry of ForeignAffairs of the PRC and Mr. Hu Hao, director of the China Centre forContemporary World Studies. Mr. Kabiru attended the event as a representativeof the Kenya Embassy in China. The other guests included Miss Li Kunruonan, aSwahili lecturer with Communication University of China and her students. We alsoinvited six young Africans, who were from Beihang University (previously knownas Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics), University ofInternational Business and Economics, Beijing Language and Culture University,North China Electric Power University and some members of the Africa 2.0 ChinaChapter. From these students I understood that the ratio between scholarshipand self-provided cost for African students in China was 3:2 at present. Thenumber of African students enrolled in Chinese higher institutions had jumpedby 35% annually for the last ten years, and there were 49792 African studentsin China in 2015, according to data provided by the Ministry of Education.

China Investment organized this event fortwo purposes: to enhance the communication among African young people in Chinaand help Seveline know more about the life of African youths in China in orderto alleviate her sense of strangeness here.

During the tea break, all the African youngpeople gathered around Seveline to talk or take photos with her. She was keptvery busy. I squeezed a second to hand her the SIM card that I had promised.The photographer caught the moment in the camera, and that picture was uploadedto Facebook by Seveline. She might consider this a significant moment in herjourney to China. What did it mean to her?