导读：在中外文化交流史册上，远有13世纪的马可·波罗、16世纪的利玛窦；近有20世纪的斯诺、史沫特莱和斯特朗……．这些为传播中国文化倾注毕生心血的外国人，早为世人熟知。与他们相似并日益引人瞩目的是，近年在拉美西班牙语国家文化界．备受尊敬的秘鲁天主教大学吉叶墨·达尼诺·里瓦托(GUILLERMO DANINO RIBATTO)教授。吉叶墨教授上个世纪80年代曾在南京大学西班牙语系任教。他在南京大学的经历为他日后推动中国文化走向世界，促进中西方文化交流等重大贡献奠定了基础。在本文中，吉叶墨教授回忆当年在南京大学的经历，讲述了他对中国文化的热爱，对东西方文化交流的看法，激励新时代南大青年为“让世界更好地了解中国”贡献力量。（英文摘自新华网英文版）
BEIJING, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- It speaks volumes that of the more than 20 movie roles that Prof. Guillermo Danino has played in China, his favorite is the part of legendary Italian missionary Matteo Ricci.
"Ricci made pivotal contributions to the exchange between the East and the West. I have read a lot about him and been hugely intrigued by his life," says Danino in an interview with Xinhua.
The 84-year-old, known as a sinologist in his native Peru, has for over 30 years followed the footsteps of 16th-century priest Ricci to pursue cultural dialogue with China and observe the remarkable changes taking place in the country in an era of reform.
With that reform set to step up following the upcoming Third Plenary Session of the 18th Communist Party of China Central Committee, this is also a busy period for Danino. He has published more than 20 Spanish-language books on Chinese culture, including nine translations of classical Chinese poetry. And his latest work -- "Encyclopedia of Chinese Culture" -- was just released in mid October in China.
Aimed at helping Spanish-speaking audiences understand the oriental giant, the encyclopedia contains more than 600 entries about its history, culture, religion and important figures, and Danino deems it his "most important work so far."
The prolific writer is also planning three new books, with one named "Dictionary of Chinese Curiosities." "Compared with the encyclopedia, which was academic, this work will be light-hearted. For example, I will dedicate a chapter to the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac," he explains.
For more than three decades, Danino has divided his time between Peru and China. In Peru, he lectures on Chinese philosophy, literature and translation; in China, he has taught Spanish, conducted research and acted in his spare time.
He has left his footprints in nearly every Chinese municipality, province and autonomous region, except the northwestern QinghaiProvince, a teasing omission which he says "just gives me a reason to come to China every year."
LOVE OF POETRY
One of Danino's most celebrated feats was introducing ancient Chinese poetry to the Spanish-speaking world.
He still remembers his first foray into translation of the abstruse verse in the 1980s while teaching Spanish at NanjingUniversity, in JiangsuProvince, at the invitation of the Chinese government.
At the time, Danino had learned Chinese for several years without a clear direction before his friend, a Chinese hotel doorman, gave him a book named "100 poems from the Tang Dynasty," a selection of famed pieces created in the golden age of the country's poetry.
"It seemed like a totally closed book to me," he recalls of his first impression on the poems. However, his eyes lit up when he saw a short one -- "Jing Ye Si," or "A Quiet Night Thought," by genius poet Li Bai.
"Only four lines! So I got up my courage to translate it into Spanish, for one and a half hours. Then the whole book, for three years," he says.
The translation, published in 1996, became the first collection of Tang-Dynasty poetry directly translated from Chinese into Spanish among those published in Latin countries.
Li Bai remains Danino's favorite Chinese poet, because "his lines and life have always brought me a feeling of deja vu."
CHANGE AND CHALLENGE
Despite hefty academic workloads, Danino has kept a sharp eye on China's radical changes, characterized by rags-to-riches tales, after it decided to open up and reform in 1978.
"Some 30 years ago, it was quite common to see one of my students and his whole family huddling in one small room without a private toilet. They slept on one bed and there was no other furniture except a table," he recalls.
When working at NanjingUniversity, Danino always wore the school uniform to avoid looking different because "everyone was dressed in green or blue clothes made of the same material," a uniformity which has been washed away since opening up.
"Later on, I saw with my own eyes that [Chinese people's] lives were getting better and better. There is no other country in human history that has developed so fast in such a short period, on a par with China," according to Danino.
Another of his more noted pieces of sinology is "From China: A Fascinating and Mysterious Country," a compilation of 28 essays and letters Danino wrote to family and friends. Released in 1990, the reflections on his experiences and observations of daily life in China met with enthusiastic response from readers eager to know about a country that had only recently ended decades of seclusion.
Today, his once-poor students have moved into purchased apartments, with some spending heavily on decorating with deluxe imported materials. And Danino finds himself able to buy everything from local stores, even special products of his hometown.
However, in his view, the rising worship of materialism and money accompanying China's economic miracle has reflected the urgency of returning to the country's traditions.
"In the old days, people didn't have color TV sets or refrigerators. But I was amazed to see they were happy," he says.
He exhorts Chinese people to study traditional culture and believes Confucius' thoughts in particular would help create a harmonious society.
"In fact, the impact of the sage is deeply rooted in Chinese minds," he says, stressing that it is high time to awaken it.
As China prepares for what looks likely to be its latest period of formative shift, this sinologist's message of keeping older culture in mind may be a worthwhile one. （Mengjie）