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|LAGOS Kevin Stewart Jersey , June 19 (Xinhua) -- Nigerians teachers and students in the southwest Lagos city were offered a "glutinous" taste of the Chinese culture as they cerebrated the Dragon Boat Festival here at the Confucius Institute at the University of Lagos on Friday.
Up to 300 teachers and students from local primary and secondary schools and universities took part in the celebrations of the Dragon Boat Festival, or Duanwu Festival, which falls on June 20, Saturday, this year.
"The Chinese people have a tradition to race dragon boat in Duanwu Jordan Henderson Jersey , so we would like to take this occasion to introduce the Chinese culture to the local friends," said Jiang Lirong, a co- director at the institute.
The origins of the Dragon Boat Festival was on display on a projector machine in one of the classrooms to the visitors, as other attendees were entertained by a combination of traditional activities, including Dragon-Boat Corner Jon Flanagan Jersey , Chinese Experience Class, Chinese Message Wall and Time Travel Snapshot.
Guests were treated with Zongzi, a kind of sweet, glutinous rice dumplings.
Zongzi, a traditional Chinese food eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival Joel Matip Jersey , is made of glutinous rice stuffed with different fillings and wrapped in bamboo, reed, or other large flat leaves.
Gift items were also presented to participating teachers and students after answering quiz questions.
R. D. Cilliers, who is the principal of Grace School located at Gbagada area of Lagos, Nigeria's economic hub Joe Gomez Jersey , said the Chinese language was introduced so that their students could learn more languages to facilitate communication and to have an added advantage.
He stressed the need for students to acquire additional skills, in addition to their educational qualifications, saying that language skill was important.
"I think it's important to learn it because China is a cultural and economic giant in today's world," he added.
Tunwase Ayomide, a student of Grace School who is schedule to visit China in June James Milner Jersey , said she has been studying Chinese because she wants to distinguish herself from other students.
"It has been interesting for me to learn from another language, I wanted a better understanding of Chinese culture because it has such a rich history," she told Xinhua.
The Duanwu Festival takes place on the fifth day of the fifth month in the Chinese lunar calendar.
Qu Yuan, a patriotic poet and politician in the Warring States Period (475 BC-221 BC) in Chinese history, drowned himself before his state fell to the invading enemy. Legend says that people went to retrieve his body from the river by sailing boats decorated as dragons in order to scare the fish away.
The Lagos Confucius Institute was co-founded by Beijing Institute of Technology and Lagos University in May 2009 to provide Chinese language and culture education for Nigerians.
NICOSIA Harry Wilson Jersey , July 24 (Xinhua) -- Cyprus's international lenders concluded their seventh review of the eastern Mediterranean island's bailout program on Friday, revising upwards their projections of economic growth for the country.
Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said after a meeting with the heads of the troika mission that their projection for this year's Gross Domestic Product was revised to 0.5 percent, up from a 0.5 per cent contraction projected in the spring.
"This is an indication that the implementation of the program ... is bearing fruit. At the same time, it refutes the impression that the implementation of the program leads to a deeper recession," said Georgiades.
His remarks were aimed at critics who had castigated him for what they said was a lack of support on his behalf for Greece's effort to do away with its bailout memorandum in the messy run-up to the latest agreement on a third financial assistance program.
Georgiades had insisted on the application of an austerity program when Greece's ex-finance minister Yanis Varoufakis insisted on prematurely ending the country's second bailout program.
Cyprus entered a 10-billion-euro assistance program in March 2013 Georginio Wijnaldum Jersey , that also included a radical restructuring of its banking system and the world first bail-in.
But unlike Greece, which failed to apply its two previous adjustment programs, Cyprus stuck to the end by its commitments, leading its tattered economy to recovery within less than 30 months.
The projected expansion of the economy by 0.5 per cent will be a reversal in more than four years of economic contraction.
Georgiades said that the troika technocrats, representing the European Commission Emre Can Jersey , the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, have established that the state of public finances was good and no additional measures were required to be taken.
"But there will be no relaxation. Prudent fiscal policy will continue as fiscal consolidation and the return to economic growth is perhaps the most important success of the Cypriot program," said Georgiades.
But international lenders set three prior actions before a 500 million tranche in loan money is released in September.
The Cypriot government has to introduce legislation leading to the gradual privatization of the state-owned telecommunications company (CYTA) and a bill on the reform of the public administration.
Parliament is also required to approve legislation permitting issuing title deeds to home purchasers who are exposed to bank indebted land developers and a second bill to safeguard the rights of borrowers against possible excesses in the procedure of loan sales.
The completion of the troika review coincided with a statement by an IMF spokesman in Washington who said "Cyprus is a success story".
He said the expected return of Cyprus to growth shows that measures implemented are beginning to pay off.
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