From January 17th to 18th, Ambassador He Rulong and Madam Shen Ting held the “Warm Welcome to the Spring” Chinese Film Festival at Bíó Paradís Cinema in Reykjavik to mark the Chinese New Year of Rabbit. Attending the event were Permanent Secretary Martin Eyjólfsson of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Iceland, Chairman Bjarni Jónsson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Alþingi, Director General María Mjöll Jónsdóttir of the Directorate of International Affairs and Policy and Director General Ragnar Kristjansson of External Trade and Economic Affairs of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, former Minister Illugi Gunnarsson of Education and Culture, and about 300 other friends from all walks of life in Iceland including Icelandic-Chinese Cultural Society, Icelandic-Chinese Trade Council, diplomatic communities in Iceland, overseas Chinese and students.
Ambassador He delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the film festival, speaking highly of the important role film plays in strengthening cultural exchanges between people around the world, and in showcasing the ethical state and cultural pursuit of their respective countries. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Iceland 52 years ago, the relationship between the two countries has always maintained healthy and stable development. People-to-people and cultural exchanges constitute an important part of such relationship, greatly narrowing the distance between the two peoples.
Ambassador He pointed out that the purpose of holding the Chinese Film Festival featuring “Warm Welcome to the Spring” is to use film as a medium to share with the Icelandic people China’s profound history and culture, philosophy and thinking, as well as the daily life and cultural pursuit of the Chinese people, so as to further deepen mutual understanding between the two peoples.
Ambassador He also extended New Year greetings and wishes to overseas Chinese in Iceland, students included, and spoke highly of and thanked them for their contributions to promoting the development of China and Iceland and furthering friendly exchanges and cooperation between the two countries over the past years, encouraged everyone to continue to follow China’s development under the guidance of the spirit of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, share China’s success story, and contribute to the friendly cooperation between China and Iceland.
Permanent Secretary Martin Eyjólfsson and Chairman Bjarni Jónsson said after watching the films that the Chinese Film Festival is very timely. The plot of the film is either touching the hearts, or inspiring to act, which will help the Icelandic people deepen their understanding of the Chinese culture, and promote cultural exchanges and people-to-people friendship between China and Iceland.
The two-day Chinese Film Festival is one of the most important activities of the Embassy in Iceland under the name of “Warm Welcome to the Spring”. The embassy thoughtfully selected two high-quality Chinese films, “Hi, Mom” and “Captain Qomolangma”. It is worth mentioning that the embassy also invited leading actors of the two films to record video messages for the Chinese New Year as a big bonus for the event, which serve as big surprises to the guests, and the overseas Chinese and students were even more touched by this.
At the reception held after the film screening, the guests tasted Chinese food and wine, immersed in the festive and auspicious Chinese New Year atmosphere decorated with lanterns and festoons, and expressed their love and appreciation for the two films, saying that the quality films displayed at this China Film Festival provide another window for the Icelandic people to know China and understand Chinese culture, and will further strengthen the cultural ties between Iceland and China and the friendship between the two peoples. They look forward to participating in more Chinese cultural activities.
The embassy also presented the zodiac rabbit and other souvenirs to the audience, and received their wishes for the better friendship between China and Iceland.