SEVENTY students this week got the rare opportunity to experience Chinese culture when they were given lessons in dance and playing musical instruments at Machabeng International School in Maseru.
The lucky students who were drawn from Machabeng, Lesia and Masowe high schools, are beneficiaries of the Chinese scholarship programme for high school learners.
The lessons were delivered by the Ningxia Art Troupe from China which performed in the country last week as part of Lesotho’s 51st independence anniversary celebrations.
Lesotho gained independence from Britain on the 4 October 1966.
The students were taught to play the Er-Hu (a double-stringed bowed instrument), spinning handkerchiefs and playing the African drum among other things.
Mokhifa Metsing, a participant from Masowe High School said the experience had made him aware of the similarities between the Chinese and Sotho cultures.
“I have realised that there are similarities between the two cultures, for instance the Er-Hu is called the ‘Mamokhorong in Sesotho,” Metsing said.
“They (Chinese) use natural resources such as wood for their instruments, and they have embraced modernisation along with their traditions,” he said, adding that talent development was important to the Chinese as they started performing at early ages.
Lesia High School principal, Mathafeng Moteuli, said the training had immensely benefitted their students who stood a chance of furthering their studies in China since they were already being sponsored, hence the need to understand the Chinese culture.
He said that they were now offering Mandarin lessons which would make it easier for the learners should they study in China.
“The world is now a global community and students need to utilise any opportunity to understand and learn other cultures.”
He also revealed that he will attend Chinese lessons ahead of the International Principals Summit to be held in China in 2019.