Read a Poem:expressing universal emotions through poetry
Official poster of the
Official poster of the "Read a Poem" online short video campaign. /CGTN

Official poster of the "Read a Poem" online short video campaign. /CGTN

"And when spring graces the garden, hold me in your remembrance," recites Ali Ahmed, the devoted caretaker of the Gilgit Chinese Memorial Cemetery in Pakistan for 45 years. Through the verses of his own creation, he expressed his appreciation for the Chinese workers who died during the building of the Karakoram Highway through the 1960s and 70s.

Ahmed transcends national borders, cultures, and languages through CGTN's "Read a Poem" online short video campaign, resonating with audiences across the globe.

Since August 2023, CGTN has once again launched the "Read a Poem" global online short video campaign. As of now, it has attracted participants from over 30 countries and regions worldwide, with poetry expressed in 16 languages, including English, Spanish, French, Arabic and Russian.

During the recent Mid-Autumn Festival, a traditional Chinese celebration symbolizing the full moon and family reunion, the campaign received recitations of Su Shi's classic poem "Prelude to Water Melody: How Long Will the Full Moon Appear." The recitations, delivered in languages including English, Russian, Bulgarian, and more, showcased the enduring resonance of this Song Dynasty (960-1279) masterpiece.

The campaign also received recitations in languages such as Irish, Malay, German, Italian, and Burmese, showcasing poems themed around the moon. Through the enchanting moon imagery in these verses, the campaign has intricately woven together people from different countries in their shared appreciation of love, reunion, and family.

The campaign has garnered passionate participation from Belt and Road Initiative partner countries. Through the attire, linguistic expressions, and contextual backgrounds of the poets, the rich diversity of local customs and profound friendships among various ethnicities unfold before us.

As the sun dipped below the horizon in New Alamein, Egypt, a group of local youths, along with Chinese journalist Zhao Nan, recited in Arabic, "You'd be loved from afar - a beautiful friendship that will always last," through the medium of poetry, they convey their faith in enduring friendship to the world.

In Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, a young Ethiopian girl named Haymi Amsalu, adorned in local national attire, recites the poem "You Departed" by the renowned local poet Bewketu. Through her words, she conveys a universal love for all of humanity.

In the "Read a Poem" campaign this year, Hanfu, the historical Han Chinese outfit, has also captured the attention of netizens worldwide.

On the slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and in the vibrant Boca district in Buenos Aires, Argentina, CGTN reporters, adorned in elegant Hanfu outfits, recited the timeless sonnets of Shakespeare and the classic verses of renowned Latin American poets Neruda and Borges, creating a poetic spectacle for their dedicated fans.

During their live broadcast, they interacted with the local people, providing insights into the richness of traditional Chinese culture. The reporters, dressed in Hanfu, attracted the attention of thousands of tourists, who enthusiastically took photos with them.

The global "Read a Poem" online campaign is a central component of the third season of CGTN's multilingual integrated product "Poetry Sans Frontiers." It aims to elicit universal emotional expressions through poetry, constructing bridges for people worldwide to foster mutual understanding, tolerance and trust.

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