On arriving for his first visit to the region, Chinese writer Mai Jia referred to García Márquez and Borges in expressing his respect for Latin American literature. “Latin American literature has been a literary passion of mine for 30 years.”
The Spanish version of Mai Jia’s novel Decoded has recently been unveiled to Spanish-speaking readers in 24 countries. More and more Chinese literary works are available to Spanish readers, bringing Chinese and Latin American culture closer.
Another cultural exchange can be seen in the suburb of Sao Paulo.
On July 9, a group of Chinese teenagers received training on a football field in the port of Feliz. This is China’s first overseas football base. The Chinese children were impressed by Brazil the moment they set foot on the land of football. “Football is a part of the Brazilian culture. Brazilian children will practice football diligently even in the absence of their coaches. They appear on the football field every early morning at 7 o’clock,” said a Chinese teenager.
Exchange programs are also expanding. Brazil will send 241 students to China this year and in Cuba, nearly 3000 Chinese students have studied in universities since 2006. The Cuban government also provides scholarships to Chinese students.
In Rio de Janeiro, a cinema for Chinese films has been launched by people who are fond of Chinese culture. Many of the audience are intellectuals. The movies help them see a China that is different from their imagination.
Argentina has set up the first bilingual public school that teaches both Spanish and Chinese in South America. Nowadays more and more people in Latin American countries go to Confucius Institutes.
“China needs to communicate with the world through literature. Literary exchanges connect our heart and soul directly. It makes our inner world brighter, more peaceful and happier.” Mai Jia’s words point out the inner motivation for China-Brazil cultural exchanges.