Seminar on the Chinese Culture held in Kopavogur


On October 6th, Seminar on the Chinese Culture was held at Salurinn in Kopavogur, as a part of the China Culture Festival. The Seminar was chaired by H.E. Mr. Gretar Mar Sigurdsson, Permanent Secretary of State of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland. Ms. Lei Yunxia, Charge d'Affaires of the Embassy of China in Iceland, attended the Seminar and gave a speech. In his opening remarks, Mr. Sigurdsson said that exchanges between different cultures are an important bridge for different nations to know better about each other and develop friendship between each other. The Chinese culture traces long back to the history and its philosophy has been influencing the whole world profoundly. The Seminar is a good opportunity for Icelanders to know more and better about the Chinese culture.

Dr. Geir Sigurdsson, Director the Center for East-Asia Study of the University of Iceland, Mr. Arnthor Helgason, Vice-Chairman of the Icelandic-Chinese Cultural Exchange Society, Mr. Steingrimur Thorbjarnarson, Scholar, and Mr. Hjorleifur Sveinbjornsson, Scholar delivered lectures respectively on Lao Zi and Taoism, the history of cultural exchanges between Iceland and China, the Chinese language and the Chinese literature. Mr. Dagur Kristjansson, Student, narrated his interesting personal study experience in China.

As below is the text of the speech by Ms. Lei Yunxia:

Your Excellency Mr. Gretar Mar Sigurdsson, Permanent Secretary of State, Ministry for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Iceland,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


It is my pleasure to attend this seminar. First of all, on behalf of the Government of China and in my own name, I would like to wish it a success.


Culture is the spirit and soul of a nation. Peoples of China and Iceland have a lot in common: we both are industrious, valiant, friendly and peace-loving people and we both are rich in culture, with exquisite works deeply rooted in history. Saga and Edda are treasures of your nation; while the Chinese nation takes pride in her philosophy, literature, art and so on. Some ancient Chinese literary works are well known to the western world, such as Book of Poetry, I Ching, A Dream of Red Mansions, Journey to the West (also known as the Monkey King). Both the Chinese and Icelandic languages have come all the way along the river of history and flourish vigorously.


Exchanges between different cultures are an important way to enhance the cultural creativity and promote understanding between different peoples. Many Icelandic friends tell me that they have been interested in the ancient and charming Chinese culture since their childhood and I am surprised that some of them even know about Beijing Opera, which is an old traditional performing art. The four scholars who are going to give their lectures at this seminar are China experts in Iceland. They all have a long and strong connection to China and the Chinese culture. And the personal experience in China narrated by a young student must be interesting and helpful.


This seminar is a part of the China Culture Festival being held in this nice city. By introducing the Chinese cultural heritage to the Icelandic people, such as traditional music, paintings, acrobatics, folk arts, photography, etc., the Festival is demonstrating the long-standing charm as well as the contemporary creativity of the Chinese culture and art, and providing Icelanders a good opportunity to know more about China.


China always advocates that all countries in the world, big or small, developed or underdeveloped, are equal members of the international community. Iceland is a nation with unique features and plays a leading role in the area of sustainable development. Small as it is, Iceland has a lot for China to learn. Our two countries have complementary advantages and the friendly and cooperative relationship between us will undoubtedly set up a good example of mutual benefit in building a harmonious world.


Bilateral relations between China and Iceland have been developing with an unprecedented good trend in recent years. With more people to people exchanges, China is no longer a distant and mysterious nation to many Icelanders, neither for Iceland to many Chinese. It is my belief that the China Culture Festival, of which this seminar is a part, will become another bridge for better understanding and friendship between our two peoples and will further promote the Chinese-Icelandic relationship to a new height.


Thank you.