The Confucius Institute, Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone has on Saturday 11th February 2023 held its first Annual Chinese and Sierra Leonean Food Festival. The event was held at Taiji Garden, Fourah Bay College in Freetown.
The event was supported by the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone, Grand Leone Casino and Gansu Construction Investment (Holdings) Group Company Limited.
In her statement, the Chinese Director of Confucius Institute at Fourah Bay College, Professor Jing Man, said China is known to the world for many things, and food is one of them of which she added that Chinese food culture has a long history with thousands of years.
She said that due to China’s vast territory, vast land and abundant resources, there are differences in climate, products, and customs in different regions. For a long time, many flavors have been formed in the diet and they used posters to introduce the eight major cuisines of traditional Chinese cuisine, noting that Sierra Leone also has a lot of distinctive cuisines, such as ‘Fofo’, ‘kasawa’, ‘kanyan’, ‘fishball’ and so on.
“We have presented dozens of well-prepared Chinese delicacies and Sierra Leone delicacies for everyone, and we are here today to give you a real treat. There are also professional Chinese chefs in person to show you traditional Chinese delicacies-beef ramen and Peking roasted duck. We can also experience the fun of making dumplings, making glutinous riceballs and making Gari,” she revealed.
She said Chinese food culture pays attention to the differences of the four seasons, beauty, and Chinese medicine homologous food and that during the event they were able to taste the most authentic Chinese and Sierra delicacies in Sierra Leone, which marks the influence of China in the global food culture and reflects the good interaction of cultural exchanges between China and Sierra Leone.
“We hope to tell Chinese stories well with food, build a bridge of friendship between China and Sierra Leone, and let more Sierra Leonean friends perceive the charm of Chinese food and the unique charm of Chinese culture,” she concluded.
On his part, the Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, H.E Wang Qing said that the first China-Sierra Leone Food Festival provides a new platform for them to get a taste of Chinese and Sierra Leonean culture and promote China-Sierra Leone friendship.
He expressed appreciation to the Confucius Institute for their efforts to promote the Chinese culture to their Sierra Leonean friends.
“There is a saying, you are what you eat. To understand the culture of a country, you start with food. China is a country with a huge population and huge diversity. Chinese food is rich in variety, which reflects the colorful life of the Chinese people,” he informed.
He said that he is glad to have the opportunity to taste some Sierra Leonean food such as foofoo, casawa, kanyan and that by tasting them they will get better understanding of the lifestyle and traditional culture of the people of Sierra Leone, adding that recently, the Chinese Government adjusted its COVID-19 prevention policy, which will further facilitate the exchanges of people between China and other countries.
He said, “I hope that with the adjustment of policy there will be more and more exchanges between our two countries, make more people have the opportunity to taste each others’ food, understand each others’ culture better and help to further cement our traditional friendship.”
The Ambassador stated that China and Sierra Leone enjoy time-honored friendship, during the past 52 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations.
China Sierra Leone relation has developed smoothly and become a model of China-Africa friendship and cooperation and that he is confident that their Comprehensive Strategic Cooperative Partnership will have new progress in the new era and help the two people pursue a happy and wonderful life.
The Deputy Vice Chancellor of Fourah Bay College, Pros. Kelleh Mansaray, applauded Confucius Institute for holding its first Annual Chinese and Sierra Leonean Food Festival which he said is very important towards enhancing cultural exchanges between the two countries.
He said that since the establishment of the Confucius Institute in Sierra Leone they have contributed immensely towards staff and students of the University, of which he assured of the University administration continuous support in providing an enabling environment for the Confucius Institute.
Closing the ceremony was the official opening of the first Annual Chinese and Sierra Leonean Food Festival ceremony of which participants present had the opportunity to eat both Chinese and Sierra Leonean Food.