Open Forum - China

7 December 2016 - A Open Forum on Other in Guadalajara, Mexico

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Full Session Transcript

>> MODERATOR: Friends. Dear friends, dear colleagues. Good afternoon. My name is (Off microphone) -- I'm from the administration of China. Welcome you to join this open forum organized by the CCIC of China. The platform is fostering cultural diversity and exchanges on the Internet. Before I formally open my open forum I would introduce the speakers on the forum. The director from UNESCO. The president from China. 

(Making introductions)

>> MODERATOR:  We will learn some brilliant things by the end of the forum. Colleagues, before our speaker gives his wonderful speeches, I would brief you on the Chinese situations. Rooted in traditional Chinese culture, the Internet culture has boomed with the expansion of the Internet. It is well-known that China enjoys a long history with -- and it provides solid foundation and plenty of sources for China's Internet culture. At present China has 710 million websites and China's Internet industry has expanded rapidly. We have 480 million subscribers of online videos, music, literature and games. In fact China's Internet culture is open and inclusive which features national characteristic. We normally would have -- during China's traditional festivals. During these festivals -- not domestically but also internationally sign on. Foreigners could also enjoy our festival cultures. Christmas and Thanksgiving Day are more popular for Chinese people. People are able to share the beauty of the different cultures. Colleagues, the Chinese government has always respected the capacity of different cultures and devoted itself to establish the platform to sharing the Internet culture.

For China we have a very old theme that gentleman should seek harmony instead of uniformity. We think harmony have a prior value regarding uniformity. We believe the culture should be respected and international corporations should be further strengthened. The service piece in the -- in fact, we organized the three Internet conference, the Internet culture corporation always takes an important role and important topics on that conference. Dear colleagues, the culture is something rooted in the people. To promote the culture it is to preserve the heritage of the people and to promote the culture diversity is also to build -- is also a critical element to build the common community of shared future for all the people. That's my brief opening. Next I would welcome Dr. Penagi (sp) to give his speeches.

>> DR? PENAGI:  Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and let me thank the cyberspace administration of China for this very kind invitation to me and UNESCO to participate in something which is very much at the core of UNESCO's mandate and pre-occupations. It is true within five to seven minutes one can't really discuss in depth the very complex questions relating to culture and the Internet but it is true that the Internet offers, as you have said, Mr. Chairman, unprecedented opportunities to foster cultural diversity through the Internet which has become by far the largest platform and the most global platform to produce, distribute and share cultural traditions and artifacts. Yet it is very clear that all cultures do not have equal representation and there are numerous challenges to really seek the harmony that you talk about. Because there are obviously some languages in some cultures which are largely dominating the Internet.

These challenges range from lack of supportive policy environments, insufficient capacity, lack of resources, and many other such challenges. I think one of the keys from UNESCO's perspective in our experience is the need to empower local communities because culture lives within communities. It is not something which is coming from outside, it is created by communities and to ensure minority cultures -- these are critical elements that are essential if the Internet is to fulfill its potential as a platform for fostering cultural diversity. UNESCO is responsible for promotion of cultural diversity.

Let me give you a few examples to show what kind of work we're doing on the ground.  As you know, the 2005 convention on the protection and promotion on the diversity of cultural expressions with 140 member states aims to ensure that artists, cultural professionals practitioners and citizens worldwide can create, distribute and enjoy a broad range of cultural goods, services and activities, including their own. It is a special focus now on how digital issues, digital technologies and the Internet can impact the implementation of the convention. It is when the convention was signed, of course, people not -- the Internet was not that widespread. Today with the Internet reaching more than half of the world's population, it is important to see how the Internet and ICTs in general can be harnessed to make sure the implementation of the convention goes forward. Many of these projects that we do focus on capacity and especially training of young cultural entrepreneurs, once you create the young people who have the digital skills whether it be museums or local cultural traditions, expressions, they become the most powerful weapons to promote cultural diversity on the Internet. Creative industries especially in developing countries including training projects for the youth and indigenous communities in broadcasting techniques has become critical.

I will not give you a list of projects. We have around the world tried to ensure that adequate policies are in place in capacity building, training, entrepreneurship in the cultural realm are encouraged. And we work, of course, across the range of cultural heritage including documentary cultural heritage and perhaps I'll conclude my open statement by mentioning two projects we're doing with China, very interesting projects. One is taking traditional games, wonderful traditional games everywhere in the world. You see young people today, the youth playing all the same games of shooting and fighting and all that. And those traditional games what we're doing is working with Tencent, one of the world's largest animation company to bring these games alive. And within these games, of course, there are a lot of cultural messages. Cultural expressions. Fascinating project. We've already covered several countries and it's a project we're very proud of.

The second project we're doing is with a company called Talk Mate in China. This project is again very interesting from the cultural perspective because it is creating what I mentioned in an earlier session today, the Atlas of World's Languages. We want to document online all the world's languages and not only just lists but also give people -- young people the opportunity of discovering languages, how they sound, the music, songs, etc., etc. Just a few examples. I could give you many more but I think I'll stop it at that. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Doctor, UNESCO is always playing leading roles on the Internet culture and cultural diversity. We hope to promote more cooperation. Next I would invite you to give your speech. Welcome.

>> Good afternoon. It is my great honor to speak on behalf of the -- CCIC. Being the first national -- in China which is specifically responsible for Internet-based culture promotion, CCIC is also the first Chinese civil society that aims to study and promote the diversity of global Internet culture. Before my speech I would like to take a few minutes to show you a video about CCIC. Please.

(Video being shown)

>> As a young lady, I was fortunate enough to witness the birth and growth of CCIC and experience the joy of Internet-based culture diffusion. Today I would like to share my experience and the reflection with you.

The Internet links the whole world together. We hope that CCIC can show their one mission and to establish two platforms. The mission of CCIC is to diffuse culture more effectively through the Internet and to benefit all people in the progress. In order to achieve its mission, it has forced CCIC to establish two platforms. The first one is a technology platforms which traditional Chinese culture can be promoted with assistance of modern Internet technologies. The key to make traditional Chinese culture more attractive and appealing to the young generation. We try to promote traditional Chinese culture online in friendly ways, friends, CCIC shot videos learning Chinese classics in three minutes. Which were well received by young people. Some friends told me that they called youthful knowledge interesting stories and even elementary traditional skills by watching these videos when they wait for subway. We are aware that diffusion of traditional culture must be sensitive to the popular demands of the young generation. It can also help foreigners to understand and experience traditional Chinese culture in a better way by using the Internet.

Here is another story of mine. When I was a middle school student my friend and I invited Malaysian friend to try a cup of Chinese tea. However, we were surprised to find that he felt sick when seeing green leaves floating in the hot water. Green, a color of life in China's culture. It's also a color of a deadly poison for people from other countries. This story tells that culture shock really matters. During the past year, CCIC -- in the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany, Australia and other countries to help the world understand the Chinese culture better. The second platform is another one. People from different countries can communicate and learn from each other by using this platform. First and foremost we hope to remove communication barriers and misunderstandings among different countries. Without cross cultural dialogues, cultural differences may turn to conflicts. But our cross cultural is difficult. This culture reminded me of a story in 2005 of CCIC staged concert of Chinese theater and piano which was a great success. If Chinese theater and the western piano can strike a harmonious cord together why can't different cultures have friendly dialogues? We hope the Internet can play an active role in cross cultural exchanges.

Secondly, we also hope the Internet can promote the equality of cross cultural exchanges and improve the co-existence of diverse cultures. In the ceremony of the second world Internet conference, Chinese president stated we should create different forms to promote cultural communication sharing and learning. The development across the globe, the diffusion opportunities for different cultures are also imbalanced. We believe the Internet can narrow down this disparity and the facilitate the co-existence of diverse cultures as much as possible

Ladies and gentlemen, to further the exchanges and the mutual learning among different cultures we hope our colleagues around the world to work together to establish effective mechanisms for online cultural diffusion. The Internet will work so we can build a cyberspace community of shared destiny. Thank you all.

(Applause)

>> MODERATOR: I think -- still feed the people with news tell. That is a story told by her. Following I would invite (off microphone) to give a speech. Thanks.

>> Thank you very much for the invitation and congratulations because I think that you choose a very interesting and very important argument. Let me say I also presentation is not possible to see -- just a few slides. I would like just to introduce a few ideas, a few concepts also if it's possible later in the discussion. The first point is cultural diversity today is nearly synonymous linguistic. And we know that if you refer to the European Union, it is written that shall respect its shall ensure that Europe's cultural heritage is safeguarded and enhanced. UNESCO, they said we have in Europe local 128 languages spoken in the EU. These languages are -- put a picture of one language in the north of Italy. And language is very important. Only when you learn a language you can understand the culture. Unfortunately, and I regret this, I don't speak Chinese. And when you speak a language, you understand the culture.

So the first concept I would like to introduce is that cultural diversity is associated with language diversity.  the second concept. The second slide is more related to the globalization, technology and what we call homogenization. The globalization seems bad the becoming something completely wrong and technology boost economic growth is a reality. Leading to the emergence of urban middle class. Local different customs what is created? People who do the same thing. They drive comparable cars, they eat increasing similar food. Unfortunately they don't know the Chinese is always the best one. They listen to music in English. They buy international brands, Coca-Cola, Apple Samsung. They watch Hollywood movies. So -- and this is the second point that I would like to raise.

The third point is that Internet is creating a new social fragmentation. Is it possible to change the slide? Has created and has reduced barrier which is good. Let's suppose local language and dances can be posted on YouTube. We don't need to access to television. We can do everything through Internet. We can produce digital movie which does not require expensive studios. We could produce now -- we could allow other people to watch what we're seeing in the room. We could even public. We don't need anymore the publisher because we can publish our own books. This has been very important things that have happened. And so we are going, I think, through a new cultural diversity, I think, thanks and because of the technology.

But let me say two concepts I think we should recognize. Culture is an experience good. Every one of us give a different value to culture. We cannot give the same value that we can have when we buy products or a service. And let's see the different importance people give to spoke local languages for example. Psychologists say that the fact -- Internet will say is good or great to allow to have more choice. We get choice. You can do many things with it. Let's make an example. Spotify, we know Spotify is a very famous European music company. I don't know how many millions of music there are in Spotify by psychologists say people respond poorly to choose. We know people they listen to few music. They don't go to look at the -- check out the music. They have 30, 40 music and they listen only that one. And every time they imitate social data.

My last point that I would like to raise is that so what has changed because of the Internet, because of technology and because of globalization? That we have today a different culture diversity? In the past was based on the rural community and the cities. Local different. Today the fragmentation and the defenses are different. Age -- based on age groups. Income, revenue, how much you earn. And educational level. These kind of new -- a new way, I think, that we should consider in order to see how the people are differentiating in their behavior. So this is just a short presentation and I leave the floor to you. Thank you very much.

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, you are in depth -- thank you. And next I would invite Mr. Podorof from Asia Pacific. General manager and in fact IDM always play a key element regarding the issues on the Internet. I welcome you.

>> Thank you. Well, as you would imagine, I'm a Russian and as a Russian I'm keen on talking about culture citing Tolstoy and the theater. Let me start with a quote by Confucius who once said what is God-given is called nature. To follow nature is called TAO. To cultivate the way to TAO is called culture. That's an insightful comment by one of the wisest thinkers of all times because, you know, talking about culture. It is not only ideas for us at APTLD but rather a complex and sophisticated break-off relations within our organizations. APTLD by itself has little relation to culture because our major mission is to get together those organizations that run country code top level demands for nations and territories in the Asia Pacific region. And we, of course, have a very diverse community, as you would imagine. And let me tell you that in that case, I witnessed for already two years, I witnessed the rise of a very special culture following a very special way by our friends and colleagues from CMNEC. Suffice it to mention that culture is all about exchanges. And in exchange you give something and you take something in exchange. And that's what we do at APTLD and what I believe CMNEC has excelled in.

The meeting in Beijing when they took quite a number of people to their technical facilities and the generally showed what they achieved at that time. Isn't that a sign of culture? In a very special way in a very special interpretation. Then, of course, we have our meetings at the APTLD and we share knowledge and knowhow and I must admit that CMNEC is one of those members on whom we can always rely with their commitment to give and to promote the best practices within our organization.

Now, we're coming to IDMs, of course, IDMs is a very important matter because with IDMs, we create a new environment, what is called the multi-lingual Internet which has so far been dominated by the English language and late in characters, but with that idea and with those ideas and also with IDM-enabled services such as the non-latent email addressing, we create an absolutely new environment. We discussed that earlier this day in a session. We are trying to do something which would help people enhance their abilities and their -- promote their access to the Internet and became a reacher -- reacher culturally first of all. I think that in that case the leadership in that regard is quite visible.

Now I'm coming to a very interesting development which has been created recently and I'm happy to see my friend here, the Wojon (sp) Summit. Some would indicate it's a showcase for China's developments on the Internet. I wouldn't mind. On the other hand we can see that many people from around the world get together to discuss very important issues and we can see how that summit has evolved over time and how it has become much more inclusive and much more open and much more multi-stakeholder event. So that all the voices are heard and all the opinions matter, and we can see that part of that summit -- unfortunately I missed those sessions. A part of that summit, a big session and not only single one, was dedicated to the matters of cultural exchanges.

And, you know, that doesn't mean that we agree at all times on all counts with our friends but again this is a very specific culture. We cultivate both within APTLD, at IGF and within this community and that the cultural dialect and mutual understanding which is, of course, I'm sorry for my -- this is again a cultural thing. Last but not least I think that what we learn from which other and I for my part learn from my friends from CMNEC is the culture of crafting or weaving a very delicate fabric of personal relations. I'm happy to admit here that the friendship that we created several years ago is still there and I guess that will stay on for years to come. And with that I guess that's what I wanted to say about cultural exchanges.

(Applause)

>> MODERATOR: Thank you. I think you have provided opinion well beyond technologies. Next I would invite our next speaker to give his speech. Maybe he will tell us another story.

>> Thank you. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It is my honor to be here to attend the meeting and I am a teacher from school, China University in Beijing. My major is gemology. Just like something you can see here, crystal barrel, Emerald, ruby, opal. All those are fascinating but it is not interest me so much. Once I interest is good news, good things especially -- this is my first time to be here to Mexico and I know something of Mexico, being from the Internet. All of these stones originated from here, blue Amber and fire agate and having to see them here. What I want to say is -- as far as I know there are so many gemologists all over the world. I come from China. Ancient Chinese in Asia and the next one is New Zealand. Ancient MAORIS. And the other wing is ancient -- Asia Pacific jade counters.

Although there are some difference, there are some characteristics of each other but they are something similarities. The first I want to show several pictures of jades from the Shang Dynasty. There are several jade people. They cannot have some right especially or of their own life. The second is a ring, this ring is not for decoration, it is just a ring of just like a weapon. When someone is shooting an arrow, she or he must wearing a jade ring on his right hand is a help when he is shooting an arrow. There is something else for decoration, this is ancient China, I mean. New Zealand we know a lot of things -- (indiscernible) have been made to be decorations for the bracelet, of weapons also. And New Zealand there is not only dolomite, and it is orange and other things nephrite, and what we love. There are so many kinds of jades especially nephrite, but here in Mexico there is a lot of green jade or jadeite jade. They love this so much. Not just of these materials but also to wear. From all civilizations and (indiscernible) to AD –

The last one I want to say is -- we call it Mexican civilization from AD to 1531. Here is a calendar, solar calendar, yes, this wall. And from the similarities of China and Mexico jade culture. So in the era of 2005 shared relevance for jade resulted in dollar between China and New Mexico. The amounts of the stones also commemorate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Mexico and China. The middle pictures is just a poster, the exhibition is held in China, Beijing palace and the left one is jade musk from China and red one is a musk from here in Mexico. Both of them have similarities, a big eyes, big nose or big mouths or perhaps they want to know something more. Very beautiful. And the difference development -- although this jade cultures are different from different eras, different periods and different shapes, their own characteristic developing but they have some similarities. The first is from China or Mexico, long and have a blade but perhaps it is not just used for the tools, it is on behalf of the power for the jeweler.

Different development civilization in jade in China and Mexico started in different eras why their chosen type of rock are different design. For display and -- (indiscernible) here is -- actually, the modern technology just has shared a lot of similarities with the civilization. The culmination of a variety of smaller units and is able to self-improve -- on the other hand the civilization in different regions are distinctive characteristics in their own way. I will say despite the distance between the two countries, China and Mexico share many similar culture features suggesting that our ancestors may have had some communication in ancient times. Two different one, musk one is made by jade and one is by glaze. So as a scholar I think it is essential to protect the history and the civilization of each distinct group and encourage them to be -- through the Internet and other medias. That's all. Thank you for inviting me and thanks for your time. Thank you.

(Applause)

>> MODERATOR: Thank you for your jade story. Attractive story. Next I would have our next speaker from Germany and he will give some in depth opinions and view. Welcome.

>> Thank you, Chairman. Ladies and gentlemen, with the recent rise of populism, nationalism, racism and in some parts of the world even the rejection of modern values all together we're are experiencing a clash of cultures and civilizations. I would like us to take a closer look at how cultures produce in the time of global markets in the Internet and make us realize that we are not living in a post ideological world. As you said the director of a global institute, an independent think tank in Beijing. Most of the time I'm in Beijing. UNESCO reminds us that cultural pluralism are -- if our connected world pluralism is the safety guard of cultural diversity. Without an open and reflective mind and society culture also causes tension. Now to understand why culture diversity and pluralism are increasingly at risk let us look at a particular culture such as China's and highlight how culture has been used the produce within an outside China and serve different ends.

The Internet in this regard has a value in itself but primarily intensifies to my understanding an already existing broader structure and historical development which we need to take into consideration in our debate on Internet governance. Until recently we were utterly surprised by China's economic growth -- fast growth because the dominant western experience of capitalism pre-supposed that liberal values were required for markets to flourish. To explain why formerly socialist economy, China observers answered with referring to traditional Chinese culture.

So Chinese culture was the answer what reform China since 1978, developed much faster than anyone else. Interestingly, those culture -- tradition and culture was basically negated in the past in imperial China. Over centuries prominent western philosophers have denounced imperial China and con fusionism -- primarily responsible for the country's apparent lack of struggle, progress and reason which are the corner stones -- or were the corner stones of western modernization.

For the west the written Chinese language was the ultimate manifestation of imperial China stag nation. They were construed to not capture thought making the language unsuitable for possible discourse. Now bringing back to mind the speed of China's modernization over the past four decades it is needless to say those past western views of China's culture provided a reverse image of a dominant self-seeking truth and justifying western imperialism. Today we're more interested in how China will actually continue growth but in a sustainable way, how it will cope with the domestic disruption of global markets and contribute to geopolitical stability. What is the basis for China's action? Modern China has long history of negating its own tradition for the sake of modernization.

Today paradoxically and luckily the Chinese government strongly promoting as we hear the teaching of Chinese classics, language not only within China but abroad. The five year plan has a -- the president's dream is to reestablish China as a great power not only economically but also culturally. The reason turning back on China's traditions, however, serves a dual strategy and reveals also its ideological function. Promoting the market economy over the past three decades and the rise of global markets have rendered socialist values meaningless. Traditional culture is supposed to fill that void and provide new meaning.

On the other hand, promoting China's condition counters the western values that led to the rise of capitalism in the first instance but also to our local and global imbalances. To be fair, traditional Chinese virtues can be a viable source for adjust filing action. Now it's supposed to tame the excess of capitalism in the future. Arguably state benevolence have helped China since reform and might help them master the next development phase. A key lesson about capitalism it can adapt to any cultural values. Domestically China's traditions are challenged by the 200 million millenials. This young generation is the most individualized one and probably most concerned with the battery power of Smartphones. If in the IGF context here one important questions remains, which role does the Internet play in this broader historical context? As a Germany can't resist to refer to a German philosopher. He called the fundamental process that allows us to develop our consciousness the public reason. Public means we can reflect on and freely express our opinion without restrictions. The public's fear is necessary for developing and exchanging ideas and constructing our cultural identities.

By contrast -- no doubt the Internet has brought us much closer to culture other but the development of our open public consciousness is at risk. There is a separation between the free public use of the Internet and the increasingly private control of it. Such control and manipulation of our consciousness is achieved in two fundamental ways. First through the technical. Government and commercial fragmentation of the Internet. If we're restricted to only a certain part of the Internet due to censorship, filtering blocking and other ways of limiting access to such business models that impede our ability to freely create and access information we're stifled and prevented from creating our cultural identities. Such fragmentation is not the result of the Internet but of global markets and ideology, the rise, the power to sustain or alter realities.

Secondly within those frameworks the Internet becomes very efficient in controlling information and thus the public use of reason, social media robots set up accounts, provide likes and post and share information. These social bots have strongly impacted the result of the recent U.S. election, presidential election and has impacted, for example, in Germany the public debate on the migration crisis. The danger is that such automated information does not present public opinion but primarily seeks to limit the public's reason. To avoid any misunderstanding certain closeness and fragmentation is necessary to provide security and stability. In summary, since while the global fault line is no longer between markets and plan but between openness and closedness. Openness is what brings progress. Uncontrolled markets tend to lead to closedness and the assimilation of new technologies that originally promoted openness. To ensure openness and pluralism we cannot just focus on the functioning of the Internet but consider global markets and cultural production. Thank you very much.

(Applause)

>> MODERATOR: Thank you for your input. Thank you. Next I would invite another speaker to give her speeches.

>> My name is (off microphone) I work for (off microphone) and today my topic will cover how reading enhances cultural exchange and how Chinese leverage empowers the world from our business standpoint. So everybody could only live one life but through reading people could have other experience.

Reading is fair and borderless to everybody. Our company reader technology we want to become the most available and the most professional E-library in the world. Our main business is E-reading and we currently have 600 million global users and 100 million monthly active user globally and we completely lead the China market. Here on the left side is a picture of our product. You can read novels, magazines and the comic books on our app. On the right side is our E-reader tablet. We have customized the functions for readers with very different reading habits and we have voluminous books to read from. We own all the copyrights on our platform.

Next I will talk about how reading enhances cultural exchanges. So we currently are in 60 countries. We dominate the market in the E reading category. Every day there are three million pages being read outside of China. We have prepared many readers using different languages. So for example we have prepared the Chinese version of Harry potter for Chinese readers and we have translated some Nobel prize work in English for English readers.

On the right side you can see our number of accumulated copyrights so we have accumulated many copyrights in many countries in many different languages. Coming from different countries users can use the same E-reader. Anytime and anywhere and the users can enjoy the same book. They can speak on the same book, interpret the book in one way or another and they can share their thoughts with us and with each other using English. So in this way cultural values are carried to different regions. They are carried through different regions by books and users can comprehend and communicate the cultural values without having to travel to that specific region and also talking to local people.

In this way, users can -- in this way the reading enhances the cultural exchange and it makes a smaller world. So as China's largest E-reading platform our reader wants to go beyond just providing books to really promote the Chinese culture to the world. And in 2014 we launched the E-reader public version project. Under the umbrella we have -- you know China have accumulated 5,000 years of wisdom and we really have a lot of treasured books to offer to the world. So up to now we have revised and digitized more than 200 classical books to promote to the world and we have the public versions for foreign language. That will be spread to the world.

Taking one of the most important China's classical books as an example is called the dream of -- we actually have added more than 200 photos to that book to -- for example, some portraits and Asian clothes display and added the character relationship structure to the book to help people understand the very complicated nature of that book. So up to now more than 50 million global copies have been downloaded globally and actually two million happen outside of China. That's really a lot. The people actually -- the traditional values of China's modesty, integrity and wisdom are spread to the world. The people from around the world have given us feedback that they are very inspired by the Asian wisdom and Asian success stories.

We also have the E-reader versions for kids in which we tailor the design specifically for children. We added the audio books to that so people could choose to listen to the book if they don't want to read.

In order to discover how reading would affect people over time, we have launched the 1,000 kit plan in which we plan to keep track of 1,000 children from around the world for 10 years to see their reading habits. How they are formed over time. And we will offer them our I-reader public versions to read. Those are all the Chinese classical books and we want to discover how reading over time could affect people's values, thoughts, and life and how the Chinese classical literature could shape the current generation. And up to now many children have given us feedback that how those have enlarged their scope of knowledge, how it expanded their vision of the world and how it helped establish their life. In the next few years our company is going the partner with major providers to promote our -- to go to bookstores and want to extend our book resources and the Chinese culture to every corner of the world.

So everybody could only live one life but we want to diversify people's experiences. We want to enlighten the world with Chinese classical literature and strive for the dream life. Thank you.

>> MODERATOR: I think I reader is iBook for many customers of Smartphone including myself. I can prove that what she said is totally true. Next one and finally I would welcome Mr. -- to introduce him. Welcome. Mic.

>> Today has been a long day for me. Especially because just today in the morning I met Mr. -- my goodness, Antonio, and was invited to give a speech about the Mayan culture. When I got here I found out that this is about the U.N. So it is a big shock.

I'm an English teacher and I would like everybody to pay attention to this. It is going to be like a class. Right over there in the corner you see there is a black box. I brought the Mayan knowledge in that box. So if you guys allow me to stand up and walk around just like a normal teacher would do, right? Am I -- okay. But I'm going to need some volunteers. This is how I do it in my class. Okay, here it is. I need volunteers. Raise your hand if you want to volunteer for my class. Three people stand up, please. You guys stand up. Would you? You are volunteering for the video. You are my filmmaker, there you go. And if you want to have one of this, this is information about -- a little information about Mayan culture. If you want one of these please raise your hand. My volunteers will go around and -- raise your hand if you want to have one of these. There you go. Is there a microphone? Do we have some Mayan or Hispanic --

>> MODERATOR: Do you speak English with the guy on the audio?

>> I was asking my friend if we can have some of sounds about the Mayan culture. Okay. Right there you have some information in English. It is here. I was going to walk over there. But you know what? I don't want anybody watching what's in the box. I'll move over there so nobody watch what's in the box because it is a surprise for each of you, all right? Okay.

All right. So you guys let me know if my time is up, all right? Anyways, raise your hand if you want to learn something about the Mayan culture. There you go. I see a lot of hands. So I just need one. Let me see, I'm going to ask the box who should I bring to learn something about the Mayan culture? And whoops, you didn't see anything, right? Okay. I'm going to call Luigi, did I pronounce it correct? The Mayan god just told me you are the chosen one. Come on up.

>> We have always known that, Luigi.

>> You can stay right there. You have a microphone right there, good. Okay. If I ask you a question about the Mayan tradition, would you be able to answer? Maybe. Could you name one of the most emblematic cities in the Mayan culture? Anybody. Decal, yes, could you come forward? You know, where are you coming from?

(Laughter)

Mexican people are not allowed. That's what Donald Trump would say. Come on, I have something for you. The gods have brought you something. From PECAL. Who else wants to learn something? Anybody? Raise your hand. If I ask you something -- what is your name, sir?

>> Paul.

>> Where are you coming from?

>> Australian.

>> What do you know about Mayan culture? Would you mention something? -- was actually part of the Aztec and Mayan culture. It was like in the middle, yes. Exactly. There was the Mayans, and the Aztecs. Something similar to the Mayan and Aztec culture. Pretty much there were three different civilizations growing but all of them disappeared. Well, the Aztec, we know what the Aztec -- what they did, right? So Mr. Paul, I think you will like to have something from the jungle, wouldn't you? So this is for you. Mayan kids used to make toys from their nature. It's more like a monkey. It looks like a kangaroo but it's more like a monkey I guess.

Anybody else? There are presents? Who wants to participate. Anybody. Let's have some fun. You won't fail. There is not an exam. We need a lady. What is your name? Jackie, where are you coming from, Jackie? San Francisco. Okay. Is POPALVU. What is that about? Not you, you're Mexican. We don't like Mexican people here. Anybody?

It is like the Bible of the Mayan culture. It is the Bible of the Mayan culture. And some people who have this at the last page you can see -- you can buy the book now because it was restored. This is one of -- well, how do you say that, the book version. This is one of the versions. There are so many versions. I'm sure in China and United States they have this version. Well, I want to make sure but I'm not even sure about that. It was the Bible. In this book they actually talk about what the lifestyle is about, right? You read it? Well, but you have heard about this? Imagine that -- okay, we ask people now, we are living under some -- but the Mayas, they understood the world in a different way. They used to offer their lives to the gods. And for them dying was part of the life. And sometimes we as humans, we don't want to die so how would I say? I mean, we like to live the longest time, right?

Anyways, for the Mayas, offering their lives to the gods was like the biggest act of dogmatic what, church, culture, sacrificing themselves. Where are you from? Mexico.

(Laughter)

Anybody else? Anybody else. Okay. What is this I have in my right hand? Anybody? This is also a Mayan toy right here. This is for you. Could you open it, please? Open it up. Watch out, watch out. Please, please, yeah, there. I mean, you know what? It is empty. It is supposed to be full with dolls. I have another one. Hold on. I have two. How is my time in? Good.

>> MODERATOR: Forever.

>> Thank you, God. Here, okay. Empty the little bucket, empty it. What is that in your hand?  Little people, little dolls, right? Mayas created this kind of toy but it was not only for kids. Mayas used to believe that putting one of this under your head at night would take all your worries and will disappear on the next day. Actually, it is mentioned here. Check it out. The name is NINOS -- those are supposed to be kids. How would I translate this? Untroubled kids, could be, yes. According to the Maya legend the kids help to solve your problems. Take one kid, those, and put it under your pillow at night. The next day your problem will disappear. This is for you. Take it back to China. Anybody else? My time is like running out. I have some more presents here. I'm just going to --

>> MODERATOR: Some specific one.

>> We have talked about the Bible, we have talked about kids' toys, yes? Why don't we take a look in your papers right there. Why don't we go to page number 3, yes, and we have right here a picture and a little writing about the calendar. They had two calendars. They had two calendars. One or the main calendar was the --(Speaking Spanish) The second one was (Speaking Spanish) It is still a mystery how these two calendars work. Because one of them is basically for natural days but the second one it was about sacrifices. It was about the ballgame which also we have right here in page number 1. So believing in the gods was everything. Like Mayas would do everything about nature laws, all right? Talking about the Mayas, it is like endless, I think. You have information there. More Mayan presents. One for a girl. This is for you, take it home. It is beautiful. Check it out. Yes. Who wants another present? They used to make necklaces from bones. This is -- these are bones from -- exactly.

(Laughter)

There you go. There you go. Listen, I have more presents but this one is special. This one is special. And this -- because they thought that death was part of life. And well, I want to give this to Mr. Antonio for giving me this opportunity.

(Applause)

I do have more presents so if you want a present, you can come by and just pick it up. Have you ever heard about -- well, this is not about Mayas but this is another Mexican pretty much like symbol of the Mexican culture. Have you ever heard of this? A girl -- can a girl raise a hand and I have heard about her. You are Mexican probably. Anybody here? This is for you. This is for you. If you have a chance to read her life, 100% recommend it. Yes. So yes.

Anyways, Mexico is full of culture not only Maya, not only -- right, we have Aztecs, we have a whole bunch of tradition and well, so I hope you liked my presentation, which was kind of in a hurry. You have a little knowledge here. Who wants this?

(Laughter)

You want it? You get it. Anybody else? No problem. I'm Carlos Brobo. I am a teacher currently. I also write, I do films, I do painting, I do photography. You can watch my work at my Facebook which is TACHERCHARLETOS. I was in a hurry today. Where can I write down my email? Never mind. If you are interested, if you have one of those, come, I get you my information, right? Anyways, nice meeting you. Thank you, god, for this opportunity and thank you so much.

(Applause)

>> MODERATOR: Thank you, Professor. Thank you so much and you know you have given a wonderful ending. Because of the time limitation I cannot open the floor to give you comments to give any questions but anyway, I think culture exchanges, we're always -- there are plenty of gifts. I think our serious activities to foster the cultural exchanges in the future. We will still have more activities, have more organized forum together with all the participants. Thank you so much.

(Applause)

(Session ended at 6:21 PM CT)