Noticing an increase in the number of people saying ‘Ni Hao” at work today? Well that’s not surprising given that Monday 12th September 2016 marked the start of New Zealand Chinese Language Week – which runs until Sunday 18th September 2016.
This is only the second year that NZCLW has been held (the first being 2015) following the Kiwi-driven initiative’s official launch by Raymond Huo (former Member of Parliament) on 24 May 2014 at the New Zealand China Friendship Society (NZCFS) National Conference.
What’s the purpose of New Zealand Chinese Language Week?
According to the NZCLW website, New Zealand Chinese Language Week “seeks to bridge the cultural and linguistic knowledge gap between China and New Zealand by delivering fun and practical initiatives that assist Kiwis to learn Chinese, ranging from programmes and resources in schools and libraries to business and government organisations.”
The second week of September was chosen by organisers to coincide with Chinese Moon Festival occurring on the 15th September 2016.
I’d like to participate – is there an event happening near me?
The NZCFS continues to be directly involved with promotion and organisation of the celebrations as NZCFS National President, Dave Bromwich is one of the founding trustees of the New Zealand Chinese Language Week Charitable Trust – and in 2016, NZCLW celebrations are taking place throughout New Zealand. Just take a look at the broad range of fun and informative events happening in Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Gisborne, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Timaru and Dunedin. There’s something for everyone!
If for some reason you are too busy to take part in the 2016 NZCLW events but are still interested in learning Mandarin, remember that most of the New Zealand China Friendship Society’s 14 branches will be able to put you in touch with local Mandarin classes occurring at other times of the year – such as Wellington’s ongoing Mandarin Corner or one of Dunedin’s Mandarin Language Courses.
As someone rightly surmised: “Learning is Easy. Starting is Hard”. So be sure to take the first step this week – even if just to say “Ni Hao [Hello]” to your neighbour or workmate.