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Italian teacher appreciates captivating Chongqing

Updated: 2022-07-06 08:37 ( China Daily )
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CHONGQING-"Ciao! Ciao! Buongiorno!" Students from a primary school in Southwest China's Chongqing municipality warmly greeted their Italian teacher, Lorenzo Buttarello.

After spending eight years in China, Buttarello, 33, originally from Varese in Italy, has completely integrated into the local life of Chongqing. Two years ago, a video of him speaking fluently in the Chongqing dialect at his graduation ceremony went viral online.

At the recommendation of a teacher at a Confucius Institute in Italy, Buttarello was admitted to Chongqing University in 2014. Since then, he has made a lot of friends and developed a deep love for the city.

Chongqing, known as the "mountain city" for its hilly landscape, is famous for spicy food such as hotpot.

In the eyes of Buttarello, Chongqing is a city "full of warmth" with spicy food and hospitable people, which reminds him of places in southern Italy.

After graduation, he became an Italian language teacher at Chongqing Renmin Primary School.

Over the years, Buttarello has been proud to witness the rapid changes in Chongqing and the growing ties between the Chinese city and Italy.

"As this inland city in western China opens up wider, a greater number of Italians have chosen to live and work here," he says.

"Italian food can be found everywhere," he says. There are a number of restaurants offering Italian food in Chongqing, some of which is cooked by Italian chefs. People in Chongqing can even enjoy authentic Italian gelato, he says.

With the deepening of cultural exchange, the Italian language has also been gaining popularity in Chongqing.

Buttarello says that, in the past, only some universities in the city offered Italian courses, while now there are off-campus Italian training institutions and some primary schools have elective Italian courses.

The primary school where Buttarello works cooperated with local foreign affairs agencies to launch an Italian language and culture course in 2015. So far, over 10,000 students have joined the course.

Buttarello says that, with the spread of the Italian language, he believes more Chinese people will contribute to enhancing mutual understanding between the two countries.

In 2013, Italy opened its consulate general in Chongqing, and a large number of economic and trade exchanges have been launched ever since.

In March 2018, the China-Italy Bilateral Investment Promotion Center was jointly established by the management committee of Liangjiang New Area of Chongqing, the Consulate General of Italy in Chongqing, and the Italian chamber of commerce in China.

With the support of the center, many Italian enterprises have settled down in the China-Italy industrial park in Liangjiang New Area. The Italian enterprises in Chongqing are mainly involved in manufacturing, wholesale and retail businesses.

Official data showed that the foreign trade volume between Chongqing and Italy was 1.98 billion yuan ($295 million) from January to April.

The Consulate General of Italy in Chongqing has also invited Italian performance troupes to Chongqing many times, offering local residents a closer look into the beauty of Italian culture.

Buttarello is ready to do his part. "I will continue to work as a bridge between Italy and China and help more Chinese people understand Italy," he says.

Xinhua

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The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]

The 2022 China International Travel Mart was launched in Kunming, Yunnan province today. The three-day event opened at the Kunming Dianchi Lake International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with a theme focusing on smart innovation and high-quality tourism industry aspects.

The news conference was held in the city on Thursday. Zhang Xilong, first class inspector of the Bureau of the International Communication and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and Lou Kewei, deputy-director of the Department of Culture and Tourism of Yunnan province presented the meeting along with academy and entrepreneur representatives.

The conference introduced the preparations and relevant activities of the mart, such as a forum on smart tourism and innovation, a symposium on international travel communication and cooperation in the framework of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and a workshop on the China-Laos railway’s contribution to building an Asian community with a shared future.

According to the news meeting, the 2022 travel mart covers about 80,000 square meters, with about 4,200 standard booths. 71 countries and regions attended the event both online and offline, and 31 domestic provinces, cities and autonomous regions and 261 independent exhibition teams.

Online services will be provided to the overseas buyers and sellers in the light of time zones. They could also have a face-to-face negotiation at the mart as well.

The mart also has diverse displays to show culture and tourism, physical education and tourism, as well as overseas tourism and museums.

The National Cultural Heritage Administration, the Palace Museum and museums from other provinces will attend the travel mart.

At the event, Yunnan province will have 2,000 standard booths in four separate sections; each will show culture tourism, healthy lifestyles, physical education tourism and culture tourism consumption.

The travel mart will also stick to the rules of pandemic prevention and control while having the activities go on smoothly.

The news conference of the 2022 China International Travel Mart, Kunming, Yunnan province. [Photo/Chinaculture.org]
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