Scot­land sam­ples China for week­end

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - TOP NEWS - By LI WENSHA in Ed­in­burgh li­wen­sha@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

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