‘Longcheng’ Roots Chinese Culture in Africa
From：Reference News Net Published：2012-12-10 Hits3458
“Longcheng” Roots Chinese Culture in Africa
2012-12-06 Source: Reference News Net
Reference News, Harare (reporter Li Nuer) - Recently, a building complex spring up no more than 5km away to western suburbs of Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. The complex is of typical Chinese traditional ‘Hui-style’. There are two delicately carved stone Kylins (a mythical animal in Chinese legend) on the two sides of the entrance. Four archways with color paintings erected at the wide Walking Street in the center of the complex. The paintings with flying dragon and dancing phoenix on the archways reflect Hui-style arts of different historical periods and look auspiciously and solemnly. Two hypermarkets are on the two sides of the Walking Street. There are more than 200 spacious and bright shops surrounding the complex. There is a unique-shaped Children's Park on the left of the complex. Two large dragons holding up a golden silk ball are carved on the first archway looking on the entrance. There are two eye-catching Chinese characters ‘Longcheng’ in the form of Chinese traditional calligraphy carved on the entrance.
‘Hui-style’ architecture surprises Harare
The huge architecture with Chinese characteristics is common to Chinese people, but it is unimaginable to an African person who has never touched Chinese culture. ‘It is my first time to see the animals carved on the archways. They are dancing delightfully, seem very happy. They should be mascots for Chinese people’. Tavenda, a local worker on the construction site told the reporter. When the reporter told him that dragon, phoenix and Kylin are unreal and from Chinese people’s imagination, they only existed in royal families and symbolize power, grace and propitiousness. Tavenda said ‘I wish they also bring blessings to Zimbabwean people’.
Though “Longcheng” hasn’t been fully completed, thousands of black friends still stop to enjoy the unique and fantastic Chinese culture on their way to work from suburbs to downtown of Harare. Mike, a black guy, living at Warren Park community, passes here every day at 7 o’clock in the morning to work at Royal Golf Club in downtown. Although he doesn’t know the use of “Longcheng”, but he tells the reporter that the construction speed of Chinese people is amazing, he could see that “Longcheng” is growing everyday. ‘This building is extremely beautifully and unique, I like it very much’, he said.
The resident ‘envoy’ of Chinese culture in Africa
Mr. Jiang Qingde, president of Anhui Foreign Economic Construction (Group) Co., Ltd. (AFECC) and the investor and constructor of Longcheng, says that “Longcheng” is the city of the descendants of the dragon (metaphor for the Chinese nation). It is equal to China Town spreading in the big cities all over the world. Longcheng chimes in with Zimbabwean National Stadium a few hundred meters away, aided by China in 1980s and with a capacity of 60,000 people. In natural harmony with surrounding green environment, the two structures form a new and bright scenery line.
Mr. Jiang Qingde tells the reporter that the project has a floor area of 60,000 square metes, upon completion it will be the largest shopping center in Zimbabwe covering shopping, leisure and relaxation as well as recreation and catering. He says what we see right now is only a part of Longcheng project. He will build a modern five-star hotel and a recreation ground also in ‘Hui-style’ next to the shopping center. ‘We have engaged in construction in Africa for decades, but most of the works we do are local contracting projects, no one could demonstrate great Chinese culture. My wish is Chinese culture can root, sprout, blossom and yield fruits in Africa.’ Mr. Jiang Qingde tells the reporter with deep feelings.
A local analyst Gulila thinks that after putting into use, ‘Longcheng’ will not only become another large Chinese merchandise collecting and distributing center in Africa, but also give local common people opportunity to learn and enjoy Chinese culture in the process of daily consumption. Under the influence of Chinese culture, they will learn more about China and accept China.
Take from Africa and benefit to Africa
Gulila also says that the construction of ‘Longcheng’ has broken the allegations reported by Western media that Chinese companies in Africa only grab resources. On the contrary, they make a lot of investments and improve infrastructure facilities in Africa, constantly upgrade local people’s living standards and quality and bring benefit to local people. Therefore they are welcomed by local people.
According Mr. Jiang Qingde, the total investment vale of ‘Longcheng’ project is almost up to $ 200 million, this figure exceeds all his earnings from different contracting projects in Zimbabwe and other African countries in recently years. However he thinks it is worthy. “It is not easy for a Chinese company to go abroad and step into Africa. It is more difficult to gain a local foothold. AFECC will not reap some profit and leave. That is not our original intention. What we want is not only to make money, but also bring benefit to local people and help them to get rid of poverty. The money made in Africa will be used in return to develop Africa. We won’t take one cent away.” he says.
(Original link: http://world.cankaoxiaoxi.com/2012/1206/130942.shtml）