VALLETTA, June 22 (Xinhua) -- The Esplora Interactive Science Centre in Malta was bustling with activities on Wednesday as students from primary schools got a break from the classroom to attend the 4th edition of the Chinese kite festival.
The festival is organized to encourage schoolchildren to celebrate diversity, unity and different cultures through the building of kites.
Wednesday's event was attended by about 100 primary students from seven schools. It culminated in a colorful lion dance performance. There is also a kite exhibition that will remain open until Friday and kite flying outdoors.
The event is organized jointly by the China Cultural Center in Malta, the Malta Foundation for the Wellbeing of Society, the Ministry of Education and Esplora.
Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, president emeritus and chair of the foundation, said the event is dedicated to the history of kite making, which originated from China, and uses kites to build peace and educate people about China's rich cultural heritage.
China and Malta have always had a very close relationship, she said.
"Using the kite as a catalyst, it gives us the opportunity to tell young people a bit more about China, to help them understand and get interested in the people of China. This is a way of developing friendship, understanding and respect for each other."
"Together we can build peace, because it is peace that can ensure our success and prosperity in the future," she noted.
Emile Vassallo, director general of the Department for Educational Services of the Ministry of Education, said the kite festival was only an introduction to Chinese culture.
"I would like you to do more research about what you've learned today about China, about kite flying and about the need to never stop learning," he told his audience.
Vassallo told Xinhua that the festival explored the scientific and artistic aspects of China's kite culture. He said he expected to see more events and activities of this kind, from which Maltese students could learn more about Chinese culture.
"We look forward to more events and stronger cooperation between our schools and the China Cultural Center," he said.
"The Chinese language is beautiful," he said, "We are trying to promote the Chinese language. Thanks to the Confucius Institute at the University of Malta, we have been assisted with finding teachers who could teach Chinese to our students."
Sueellen Grech, a teacher from the Senglea primary school, told Xinhua that the event helped the children learn more about the science behind flying a kite.
The first Chinese kite festival was held in 2018 in the Verdala Palace in Buskett, the summer residence of the president of Malta. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival was canceled in 2020. Last year, the third edition of the festival was held online.