Scotland samples China for weekend
Folk singing and dance performances by multiethnic groups from West China have given Scotland a rare chance to explore the region’s colorful cultural landscape.
The weekend event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre featured cucurbit flute, peacock dancing and fashion shows of ethnic costumes in Yunnan province and the Tibet autonomous region.
An exhibition, featuring 100 photographs and 18 cultural artifacts, themed Color of West China, also was displayed as part of the Cultural Exploration of West China tour, which kicked off in Lon- don and will visit Manchester, in northwest England, and Dublin, Ireland.
“The performances were stunning,” said Liz Cameron, head of the Scottish Chamber of Commerce. “They portray a beautiful culture, and the amazing dancing and singing projected China in a wonderful light.”
Lu Guang jin, director-general of the State Council Information Office of China, who co-organized the tour with the Chinese embassy in the UK, said the events “showcase both the cultural heritage that has been sustained by the ethnic groups in West China to this day and the latest changes and development in this region”.
The program is part of the Experience China series, which already has toured Germany, Italy, the United States and many other countries.
Pan Xinchun, the Chinese consul general in Edinburgh, said West China is an important cradle of Chinese civilization and is making a significant contribution in developing the Belt and Road Initiative. He said the events “will display the colorful culture of China and help develop the friendly relationship between China and Scotland”.
Claire Tynte-Irvine, head of the International Division of the Scottish government, said: “We are lucky that the Chinese presence in Scotland is so strong and that people- to-people exchanges are an important part of this.”
She said an increasing number of Scottish children are learning about China’s language and culture through the Confucius Classroom hubs. Eighteen out of 19 Scottish higher education institutes have created academic and research links with Chinese institutions.
Scotland’s flagship education award, the Saltire Scholarships, have been presented to more than 200 Chinese students since 2011. The country has welcomed an increasing number of Chinese students and tourists and will host more Chinese performers at the world-famous Edinburgh Festival in August.