【大发神彩8电脑版_大发神彩8电脑版官网】Spotlight: Chinese in Africa celebrate Mid

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by Xinhua writers Naftali Mwaura and Wang Xiaopeng

NAIROBI, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Across Africa, Chinese communities were in an ebullient mood ahead of this year's Mid-Autumn Festival that was observed on Monday this year.

PEACEKEEPERS ENLIVENING MID-AUTUMN FESTIVITIES

Zhang Xiangfa, a soldier of a group of 331 Chinese peacekeepers who arrived in South Sudan in September, celebrated his first Mid-Autumn Festival in the faraway land after his marriage.

The peacekeepers, including a medical unit, are to serve on a one-year mission in a country which has been embroiled in conflict in the past few years.

They are tasked with repairing roads, bridges and airports, constructing and maintaining barracks and shelters, building facilities for water, power and heating supplies, and providing engineering support in mission-areas.

Meanwhile, the medical unit will carry out tasks including treating diseases and performing operations and vaccinations.

"Participating in peacekeeping has made me more aware of the preciousness of harmony and tranquility," said Zhang.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in April that "China is today a very important pillar in our peacekeeping operations."

China is the second largest financial contributor to peacekeeping and one of the countries with a very significant number of peacekeepers on the ground, said Guterres, adding there are about 2,50 Chinese police and peacekeepers on missions in 14 countries.

CHINESE MEDICAL WORKERS BRING CHEER TO AFRICAN PATIENTS

Wang Hefeng and his 15 colleagues, stationed at China-funded Tirunesh-Beijing Hospital on the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, had completed their one-year medical sojourn.

The medical workers wanted to join their families and friends in China to spend the holiday together.

However, they decided to stay at the hospital and work, as the number of Ethiopians coming for medical care is rising during the festival.

China has dispatched a huge batch of medical personnel to offer specialized healthcare services to communities in several African countries.

Wang Junqi, a 33-year-old father and a medical doctor, works as a volunteer at Levy Mwanawasa University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, capital of Zambia.

Though he missed being home and being part of the festival celebrations, Wang said it was fulfilling to serve the needy in faraway lands.

The ear and throat specialist is a member of a Chinese medical team that has been deployed to offer volunteer medical services in Zambia under a bilateral agreement signed by the two countries four decades ago.

CULTURAL EVENTS TO CELEBRATE MID-AUTUMN FESTIVAL

The festival was marked with fanfare in Kenya where China's rich culture, language and cuisine have attracted locals.

Peter Gikonyo, a 29-year-old graduate student, said the activities around Mid-Autumn Festival that include family reunions had a powerful resonance in Kenya.

"In China, the Mid-Autumn Festival entails bringing families together to talk amongst themselves and share meals. Just like in China, Kenyans also appreciate family values," said Gikonyo.

He was among dozens of Kenyan youth who learned about preparing mooncakes at a pre Mid-Autumn Festival event held in the Confucius Institute at the University of Nairobi on Friday.

Chinese communities living in Kenya on Sept. 22 celebrated the Mid-Autumn Festival at the China-Kenya Culture Education Center in Nairobi with a gala comprising African dance and Chinese programs, attracting about 50 people.

(Wang Shoubao in Addis Ababa and Peng Lijun in Lusaka also contributed to the story.)