China 2022-11-15T05:04:04+02:00
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Chinese Language Day promotes multilingualism, cultural diversity in UN

Chinese Language Day promotes multilingualism, cultural diversity in UN

United Nations, China, culture, PRC, Chinese language
The Chinese language. Photo by Xinhua.
The Chinese language. Photo by Xinhua.

The UN Chinese Language Day, celebrated annually on April 20 since 2010, seeks to "celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization," said the United Nations on the Day's webpage. This was reported by The Xinhua News Agency.

Chinese was established as an official language of the United Nations in 1946. However, in the early years, Chinese was not commonly used in the work of the United Nations.

"The situation was improved after the restoration of the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China in the United Nations in 1971. In 1973, the General Assembly included Chinese as a working language, which was followed by the Security Council in 1974", – according to the UN website.

The date for the Chinese Language Day was selected from Guyu, or "Rain of Millet" in Chinese, which is the sixth of the 24 solar terms in the traditional Chinese lunar calendar. It is also the day to pay tribute to Cangjie, a legendary figure in ancient China claimed to be the inventor of Chinese characters. Legend has it that when he invented the characters, the gods and ghosts cried and the sky rained millet.

Today, more and more UN offices and staff members work with the Chinese language. The language, therefore, bears testimony to the evolvement of the United Nations, as well as the increasingly closer relationship between it and China.

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