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Culture Diversity Makes Human Life Interesting: Mo Yan


STOCKHOLM - Mo Yan, the 2012 Nobel Prize winner for literature, said on Friday that diversity in global cultures makes human beings' cultural life interesting.

Mo told a reception in the Chinese Embassy in Stockholm that it was a responsibility to protect the diversity in cultures while creating the diversity as well.

He said that translation played a very important role in bridging different cultures, adding that without the translators who had translated his books he couldn't have won the Nobel Prize.

"I think translation is much harder than writing itself," said Mo Yan, explaining that it only took 43 days to write the work Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out, while it took Swedish sinologist Anna Gustafsson Chen six years to translate the work.

Earlier in the day he visited a Swedish middle school, where about 20 Swedish students who were studying Chinese welcomed him by singing the theme song in the movie "Red Sorghum" which was based on his novel of the same name.

"Unlike the rough and husky voice in the movie, the Swedish students presented the song with a gentle and soft voice, making it rather a romantic song," Mo told the gathering at the Chinese Embassy.

He said he hoped that there were going to be some outstanding translators among the students, adding that meeting them made him "extraordinarily happy."

He said language was going to be "the most reliable way" for interaction between peoples because one had to know the language of a nation to understand the people's inner world and spiritual life.

Lan Lijun, Chinese Ambassador to Sweden, said that Chinese literature had stepped into the spotlight worldwide after Mo Yan had won the Nobel Prize, which would help contribute to the literature communication and dialogue between China and the rest of the world.

People in Sweden and other parts of the world were all welcome to know more about Chinese culture, he added.

There were about 130 people attending the reception, including Per Westerberg, speaker of the Swedish Parliament.