The Russian language is experiencing a new round of popularity in China amid deepening friendly relations between the countries and the implementation of the One Belt – One Way initiative. This was announced on Saturday by the vice-rector of one of the leading universities of the country of Fudan University in Shanghai, Zhang Renhe, at the opening ceremony of the IX International Forum “Russian Literature of the XX – XXI Centuries”.
“In the 21st century, with the deepening of friendly relations between China and Russia, as well as with the implementation of the One Belt, One Way Initiative, the popularity of the Russian language is experiencing a second boom in China. This forum is held in such favorable conditions. It will contribute to further promoting the Russian language in China, deepening cooperation and interaction between Russian scholars in China and abroad, as well as expanding the scientific exchange between teachers and students of the faculty of Russian language and literature, promoting cooperation in teaching and research with other Chinese and foreign universities”, he said, recalling that the Russian language as a scientific discipline has passed a difficult development path in China.
Russian language popularity revival in China
According to Zhang Renhe, in the 1950s, the Russian language experienced an unprecedented boom in China, but in the 1960s and 1970s of the last century, due to various historical reasons, its study was not given due importance. “Since the beginning of the 1980s, with the restoration of Sino-Russian relations and the pursuit of a policy of reforms and openness in the PRC, the teaching of the Russian language has been regaining its position and continuing to develop,” said Zhang Renhe.
Gao Yunwei, Director of the Institute of Foreign Languages and World Literature at Fudan University, who spoke at the opening of the forum, noted that over the 70 years of its development, the Russian language faculty has turned into a strong teaching and research team that trains highly qualified personnel. “Russian literature has a very big influence in China. Many Russian writers are already familiar to every Chinese family, and their works have influenced several generations of Chinese”, he said. Among these writers, he named Pushkin, Gogol, Lermontov, Dostoevsky, Turgenev, Chekhov, Sholokhov and several others. The director of the institute expressed confidence that fruitful work at the forum would contribute to the further study of Russian literature in China, as well as the promotion of scientific exchanges between countries.
Gao Yongwei noted that the Russian language is currently popular in China, but not many people study it in Shanghai. According to him, relations between the countries are on the rise and this gives impetus to the development of interest in the Russian language in Chinese society. However, he stated, interest in learning a foreign language naturally grows with the intensification of trade and economic ties. In Shanghai, due to its remoteness from Russia, he acknowledged that it is not so easy to find work with the Russian language, as, for example, in the bordering north-eastern regions of the country, and many students find themselves in other directions after graduation. Currently, about 100 people study
Russian at the university.
At the opening of the forum, the awarding ceremony of the competition organized by the university of readers of works of contemporary Russian literature was held. Diplomas were handed to its participants by the Acting Consul General of the Russian Federation in Shanghai, Ernst Yurkin.
Participation in the forum, which will last two days, is attended by specialists in Russian language and literature from all over China. Among the honored guests who arrived at the conference, there are many prominent scientists from Russian and foreign universities. The forum will also feature such famous contemporary writers as Viktor Erofeev, Alexei Varlamov and Evgeny Antashkevich.
Discussions on the forum will be held in such sections as Russian Silver Age Literature, Russian Literature Abroad, Contemporary Russian Literature, 19th Century Russian Literature, and Interdisciplinary Research.
Established in 1905, Fudan University in Shanghai is one of the most respected universities in the country. In the ranking of the best universities in the world QS World University Rankings 2019, it takes 44th place. About 13 thousand students and 25 thousand graduate students are currently studying at this university. Training is conducted in a variety of areas, including the humanities and natural sciences, as well as medicine.
The university has established relations of strategic partnership, cooperation and exchanges with more than 200 universities and research universities from more than 30 countries and regions of the world, including Russia. Fudan University has many student exchange programs.