"There are many students from China here and I enjoy communication with them, we always stick together," said Lera Teslya, a participant of Lunar New Year concert in Kiev.
Born in a small town of Lysychansk in Ukraine's eastern Lugansk region, Teslya never imagined that one day she will get a lot of friends from China, a remote country with different culture and customs.
However, this became a reality after the student decided to participate in the concert for Chinese and Ukrainian students in Borys Grynchenko Kiev University.
During the three weeks of rehearsals, Teslya made a real friendship with a Chinese dancing teacher Zhang Li, who provided workshops on Chinese dancing to a group of Ukrainian students.
"She is very kind, gentle and beautiful. She teaches us how to properly behave on the stage. Despite the fact that we are Ukrainians, and she is a Chinese, we understand each other very well," Teslya told Xinhua.
For her part, Zhang said she learned a lot about the Ukrainian culture during the preparations for the concert and got along with Ukrainian youth.
"Ukrainian students are very sincere and diligent. I really like them. They are very smart and they learn fast," Zhang told Xinhua.
Teslya and Zhang were among about 50 participants of the Lunar New Year concert, which presented a mix of traditional Chinese and Ukrainian songs and dances. Many performances incorporated elements of both Chinese and Ukrainian culture.
Besides, the participants of the concert showcased their dexterity in playing musical instruments such as the lute, the piano, and the violin.
Wang Dajun, the first secretary of educational affairs at the Chinese Embassy in Ukraine, said the concert is an opportunity for Chinese students to better understand the Ukrainian culture and Ukrainian people.
"Cultural exchanges are very important for students. Our students, who study in Ukraine, must adapt to Ukrainian situation, Ukrainian life and Ukrainian culture. Culture reflects the mentality of the people," Wang told Xinhua.
Meanwhile, a guest of the concert Alexandra Stryzhak said that the event was also very useful for the Ukrainian audience, providing them a chance to learn about Chinese traditions of celebrating New Year.
"We do not have so many sources from which we can get information about China. Most Ukrainians have superficial knowledge about this country. So, this concert is an excellent opportunity to understand, to see, to feel and to fall in love with China," Stryzhak told Xinhua.
Victor Ognevyuk, the rector of Borys Grynchenko Kiev University, voiced his hope that Ukrainian and Chinese students will continue the tradition of joint cultural activities ahead of the Lunar New Year.
He said that China's Belt and Road Initiative, which was joined by Ukraine, provides all opportunities for the youth of the two countries to deepen their friendship.
"The Belt and Road Initiative unites our nations and shows the path for moving forward by cooperating and helping each other," Ognevyuk said.