To­gether, We are a Colour­ful World

Beijing (English) - - FEATURE -

On the af­ter­noon of Oc­to­ber 25, 2018, the third “Colour­ful World—cul­tural Ex­hi­bi­tion of Coun­tries along the Belt and Road” event was launched at the China In­ter­na­tional Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre's A8 Hall in Bei­jing.

As an im­por­tant part of the 13th China Bei­jing In­ter­na­tional Cul­tural & Creative In­dus­try Expo (ICCIE), the “Colour­ful World” event was hosted by Bei­jing This Month Pub­li­ca­tions and the Bei­jing For­eign Cul­tural Ex­change Cen­ter to en­hance ex­change be­tween China's cap­i­tal city and coun­tries along the Belt and Road, pro­mote the cul­tures of var­i­ous coun­tries and strengthen bonds and friend­ship. The event has gained strong sup­port from the In­for­ma­tion Of­fice of the Peo­ple's Gov­ern­ment of Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, the For­eign Af­fairs Of­fice of the Peo­ple's Gov­ern­ment of Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal­ity and the China Coun­cil for the Pro­mo­tion of In­ter­na­tional Trade Bei­jing Sub-coun­cil.

Friend­ship can de­rive from close con­tact be­tween peo­ple and can be the key to sound state-to-state re­la­tions. Var­i­ous cul­tures and cul­tural her­itage have given rise to mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism. As in­ter­na­tional ex­changes deepen, peo­ple have gained an en­hanced un­der­stand­ing of each other and cre­ated a more colour­ful world through cul­tural in­ter­ac­tion. We are sur­rounded by this colour­ful world.

Dur­ing the four-day event, em­bassies from 40 coun­tries, such as Rus­sia, Mon­go­lia, Kaza­khstan, Su­dan, Ro­ma­nia and Ethiopia, pre­sented as­pects of their cul­tures to at­ten­dees of the expo. Th­ese em­bassies, stu­dents from in­ter­na­tional schools in Bei­jing, so­cial groups and ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions staged im­pres­sive and some­times in­ter­ac­tive per­for­mances.

The cul­tural ex­hi­bi­tions, songs and dances were an in­ter­na­tional, cul­tural feast and plat­form to gain more un­der­stand­ing about China and other coun­tries around world. Peo­ple were able to get hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence of vastly dif­fer­ent cul­tures and their charms.

Cul­tural Con­nec­tiv­ity Friend­ship along the Belt and Road

The “Colour­ful World” event echoes the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive (BRI). The ex­hi­bi­tions and per­for­mances of the var­i­ous coun­tries in­volved trans­formed the stage into a con­glom­er­a­tion of di­verse art forms, cul­tures, cross-bor­der friend­ship and func­tioned as a plat­form to cre­ate mu­tual ben­e­fit and seek com­mon pros­per­ity. Peo­ple rep­re­sent­ing many dif­fer­ent cul­tures from coun­tries along the Belt and Road cre­ated a har­mo­nious event. The con­cept of cre­at­ing a global com­mu­nity of peo­ple work­ing to­gether to re­alise their dreams for a shared, pros­per­ous fu­ture was pro­moted. To­gether we are the colour­ful world!

At 3 p.m. on Oc­to­ber 25, the third “Colour­ful World—cul­tural Ex­hi­bi­tion of Coun­tries along the Belt and Road” event be­gan. Am­bas­sadors from the Al­ge­ria, the Repub­lic of Guyana, Nepal and Uruguay em­bassies touched a daz­zling ball at the open­ing cer­e­mony to in­di­cate the of­fi­cial be­gin­ning of the “Colour­ful World” event.

Al­ge­ria has par­tic­i­pated in the event ev­ery year so far. It is com­mit­ted to sup­port­ing cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties un­der the BRI. There is a tra­di­tional friend­ship be­tween Al­ge­ria and China. A cul­tural ac­tion plan has also been signed by the Prime Min­is­ter of Al­ge­ria dur­ing a visit to China in April 2015. The Al­ge­rian Em­bassy en­joys par­tic­i­pat­ing in the “Colour­ful World” event each year.

Am­bas­sador of Al­ge­ria to China Ahcene Boukhelfa stated the fol­low­ing in a speech: “China is the cra­dle of one of the old­est civil­i­sa­tions in hu­man his­tory, and its ma­te­rial and in­tan­gi­ble her­itage are trea­sures that rep­re­sent the rich­ness and cul­tural di­ver­sity of this great na­tion. Chi­nese lan­guages, lit­er­a­ture, ar­chi­tec­tural her­itage, mu­sic and dance, mar­tial arts, cuisines, phi­los­o­phy, eti­quette and reli­gions are part of hu­man­ity's over­all her­itage and not just that of China and Asia. Trade in the past con­ducted via the Silk Road has con­tributed to cul­tural ex­changes be­tween China and the rest of the world. The BRI launched by Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping has car­ried on in this tra­di­tion to strengthen the cul­tural and pop­u­lar re­la­tions be­tween China and for­eign coun­tries. Sev­eral ac­tiv­i­ties and projects have been con­cre­tised in re­cent years to en­hance the hu­man di­men­sion of the BRI in the areas of cul­ture, tourism, me­dia and ed­u­ca­tion. There is a tra­di­tional friend­ship be­tween Al­ge­ria and China. Our coun­try has been in­volved in sup­port­ing the cul­tural ac­tiv­i­ties or­gan­ised un­der

the BRI in ac­cor­dance with the Cul­tural Ac­tion Plan signed on April 2015 on the oc­ca­sion of the visit of the Al­ge­rian Prime Min­is­ter to China. The Em­bassy of Al­ge­ria has par­tic­i­pated in the first two edi­tions of the ‘Colour­ful World—cul­tural Ex­hi­bi­tion of Coun­tries along the Belt and Road' event, which were held in Oc­to­ber 2016 and Septem­ber 2017, re­spec­tively, and now par­tic­i­pates in the third it­er­a­tion of the event. The aim of the BRI to build ‘a com­mu­nity of shared destiny for mankind.' This cor­re­lates with the con­cept of ‘liv­ing to­gether in peace,' which was pro­posed by Al­ge­ria to the UN Gen­eral Assem­bly on De­cem­ber 2017. It unan­i­mously ap­proved the pro­posal of Al­ge­ria to des­ig­nate May 16 as an in­ter­na­tional day rep­re­sent­ing ‘liv­ing to­gether in peace.' Al­ge­ria is avail­able to ex­am­ine ini­tia­tives that may be in­cluded in this frame­work to pro­mote Al­ge­rian cul­ture in China and con­sol­i­date the un­der­stand­ing and ex­changes be­tween the Al­ge­rian and the Chi­nese peo­ples as well as with other peo­ples in the world. Al­ge­rian cul­ture is rich, var­ied and very old. Ev­ery re­gion, city and oa­sis con­sti­tutes a par­tic­u­lar cul­tural space. The di­ver­sity of Al­ge­rian lan­guages, lit­er­a­ture, tra­di­tions, re­li­gious prac­tices, folk­lore, fes­ti­vals, cui­sine, mu­sic, dance, crafts, arts, jew­ellery, cin­ema and so on re­flects the Ber­ber roots of the coun­try, its Arab-mus­lim com­po­nents, its African depth and its Mediter­ranean en­vi­ron­ment. Al­ge­ria and China are de­ter­mined to fur­ther strengthen and diver­sify their cul­tural co­op­er­a­tion in ac­cor­dance with the in­struc­tions of the lead­ers of the two coun­tries. On De­cem­ber 20, 2018, Al­ge­ria and China cel­e­brate the six­ti­eth an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries. They will con­duct a rich cul­tural ex­change pro­gramme to cel­e­brate and ob­serve this happy mem­ory.”

Vis­i­tors at the expo also had a chance to learn about the cul­ture of Guyana. Al­though most of Guyana is in the Ama­zon rain­for­est belt of South Amer­ica, the main­stream cul­ture of Guyana is still deeply in­flu­enced by the cul­ture of the Caribbean area. Guyanese an­ces­tors came from four con­ti­nents: Africa, Asia, the Amer­i­cas and Eu­rope. Chris­tian­ity, Is­lam and Hin­duism are its three ma­jor reli­gions and have flour­ished and co­ex­isted in har­mony in the coun­try. Its rich cos­tumes, cui­sine, art, fes­ti­vals and tra­di­tions are truly eye-catch­ing.

Am­bas­sador of the Co­op­er­a­tive Repub­lic of Guyana to China Bayney Kar­ran stated the fol­low­ing in his speech: “The cul­ture of each in­di­vid­ual lies at the core of their be­ing. Our col­lec­tive be­liefs and prac­tices shape our in­di­vid­ual per­spec­tives, give our com­mu­ni­ties a com­mon iden­tity, and give our so­ci­eties co­he­sion and a com­mon pur­pose. The im­mense di­ver­sity and rich­ness of the cul­tures of the world is an es­sen­tial fea­ture of civil­i­sa­tion and is one of the most pro­found ac­com­plish­ments of our species. It can be said that the ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the cul­ture of oth­ers is an im­por­tant step on the path to global sta­bil­ity and sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. Build­ing cross-cul­tural bridges can lead to bet­ter un­der­stand­ing, greater tol­er­ance and stronger unity among the coun­tries and peo­ples of the world. It fol­lows, there­fore, that ap­pre­ci­a­tion for other cul­tures is a pre­req­ui­site for in­ter­na­tional sta­bil­ity, peace and devel­op­ment. With this in mind, the Em­bassy of Guyana is de­lighted to be a part of the third ‘Colour­ful World—cul­tural Ex­hi­bi­tion of Coun­tries along the Belt and Road' event to pro­mote friend­ship, good­will and un­der­stand­ing and to ex­press our de­sire for a bet­ter fu­ture for all.”

Deputy Chief of Mis­sion of the Em­bassy of Nepal Sushil K Lam­sal stated the fol­low­ing in his speech: “I fondly re­call last year's ex­hi­bi­tion which I had the op­por­tu­nity to at­tend. As one of the first events I at­tended af­ter ar­riv­ing in Bei­jing, it was an ex­cit­ing ex­pe­ri­ence and helped me get a good glimpse of the world around us. Bei­jing mag­a­zine re­mains a vivid win­dow to the many charms of the city. I would like to ex­press my sin­cere con­grat­u­la­tions for host­ing this imag­i­na­tive event bring­ing to­gether vignettes of cul­tures from around the world in one place. Th­ese kinds of ef­forts will no doubt strengthen co­op­er­a­tion be­tween China and other coun­tries around the world by ad­vanc­ing cross-cul­tural com­mu­ni­ca­tion and cul­tural ex­changes. Since the ini­ti­a­tion of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive five years ago, cul­tural ex­changes be­tween China and other coun­tries have flour­ished in mul­ti­ple sec­tors. As a close neigh­bour of China and a part­ner of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive, Nepal looks for­ward to de­vel­op­ing even greater in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries and work­ing to­gether for mu­tual ben­e­fit. Over the past sev­eral years, the num­ber of Nepali stu­dents study­ing in China is in­creas­ing, as is the num­ber of Chi­nese tourists vis­it­ing Nepal.

For ex­am­ple, in the first half of 2018, the num­ber of Chi­nese tourists vis­it­ing Nepal in­creased by more than 35 per­cent com­pared to the same pe­riod in the pre­vi­ous year. This is a good in­di­ca­tor of our grow­ing in­ter­per­sonal re­la­tions, and we should keep up this mo­men­tum. Cul­tural ex­changes be­tween Nepal and China have gone on for cen­turies. Chi­nese monks and schol­ars made pil­grim­ages to Nepal dur­ing the Tang Dy­nasty (AD 618–907), and Nepali artistes in China made con­tri­bu­tions dur­ing the Yuan Dy­nasty (1271–1368). The fa­mous Nepali artist Anige built the fa­mous White Pagoda in China in the 13th cen­tury and re­mains an im­mor­tal sym­bol of NepalChina friend­ship and cul­tural di­a­logue to this day. There are enor­mous pos­si­bil­i­ties in other areas of peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes where our two coun­tries can work to­gether in ad­di­tion to cul­tural ex­changes. Nepal is a top des­ti­na­tion for tourists world­wide. Just a few days ago, Lonely Planet in­cluded the Kath­mandu Val­ley in its Best in Travel 2019 list. As I men­tioned be­fore, the num­ber of Chi­nese tourists vis­it­ing Nepal is in­creas­ing but is prob­a­bly not com­men­su­rate to the size of the out­bound tourists from China. Our two coun­tries should work to­gether to en­hance peo­ple-to-peo­ple re­la­tions for win-win out­comes.”

Am­bas­sador of Uruguay to China Fer­nando Lu­gris stated the fol­low­ing in his speech: “It is a great hon­our for me as am­bas­sador of Uruguay to be here to­day to present the cul­ture of my coun­try in the frame­work of cel­e­bra­tions as­so­ci­ated with the 30th an­niver­sary of the es­tab­lish­ment of diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween China and Uruguay and the in­cor­po­ra­tion of Uruguay into the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive. 2018 is the sec­ond year that Uruguay has en­gaged in a strate­gic part­ner­ship with China, which was de­vel­oped in Oc­to­ber 2016 on the oc­ca­sion of a visit from Uruguayan Pres­i­dent Tabaré Vázquez. The strate­gic part­ner­ship has dra­mat­i­cally changed diplo­matic re­la­tions be­tween China and our coun­try. They have been diver­si­fied to give more at­ten­tion to cul­tural ex­changes, which are fun­da­men­tal for un­der­stand­ing other groups of peo­ple. Uruguay has had suc­cesses in its cul­tural in­dus­tries and has a lot to of­fer China and the world. Uruguay has his­tor­i­cally been char­ac­terised by im­por­tant de­vel­op­ments in the arts. Sev­eral fac­tors have con­tributed to this, such as the achieve­ment of early sta­bil­ity in gov­ern­ment and the con­sol­i­da­tion of a strong mid­dle class. Th­ese fac­tors have tra­di­tion­ally stim­u­lated a high con­sump­tion of cul­tural goods, al­low­ing Uruguay to po­si­tion it­self as an im­por­tant cen­tre of con­sump­tion, stim­u­la­tion and dis­sem­i­na­tion of the arts. Cur­rently, cul­tural ac­tiv­ity in Uruguay ac­counts for al­most 1 per­cent of our gross do­mes­tic prod­uct. There are also var­i­ous op­por­tu­ni­ties for free train­ing in var­i­ous artis­tic dis­ci­plines, which sup­ports the devel­op­ment of creative in­dus­tries. Re­gard­ing the cul­tural ex­changes with China, China's vice min­is­ter

of cul­ture was the first high level au­thor­ity to visit Uruguay dur­ing the be­gin­ning of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of our strate­gic part­ner­ship. On the oc­ca­sion of his visit, a cul­tural strength­en­ing agree­ment be­tween the two coun­tries was signed that es­tab­lished clear co­op­er­a­tion and re­in­forced the Ex­ec­u­tive Plan for Co­op­er­a­tion in the field of Cul­ture that ex­ists be­tween Uruguay and China for the 2016–2020 pe­riod. Fur­ther ex­changes were com­pleted re­gard­ing the pres­ence of artists, ath­letes and au­thor­i­ties in the cul­tural pro­mo­tion of Uruguay in China.

It is our in­ten­tion to con­tinue work­ing to pro­mote the cul­ture of our coun­try in China in or­der to deepen cul­tural ex­changes be­tween both coun­tries and to be able to count on the sup­port of pub­lish­ers, in­vestors, in­sti­tu­tions and Chi­nese com­pa­nies to deepen cul­tural ex­change be­tween China and Uruguay. This will con­tinue to diver­sify, am­plify and stim­u­late a cul­tural re­la­tion­ship at all lev­els.”

The Silk Road orig­i­nated in an­cient China. It branched out into the Silk Road on land and the Mar­itime Silk Road on the seas. It was a trade route con­nect­ing Asia, Africa and Eu­rope and an artery for eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal links be­tween the East and the West. Over the past 2,000 years, peo­ple from coun­tries along the Silk Road have shared the nat­u­ral re­sources; de­vel­oped their economies, cul­ture and arts in an in­te­grated fash­ion; jointly cre­ated bril­liant cul­tural her­itage and de­vel­oped friendly ex­changes over time. This legacy ex­tends into the present day and lends its wis­dom. The BRI pro­vides an op­por­tu­nity and new mo­men­tum for var­i­ous groups of peo­ple to com­mu­ni­cate with each other, seek cul­tural in­te­gra­tion, re­alise dreams and cre­ate pros­per­ity to­gether.

The China Coun­cil for the Pro­mo­tion of In­ter­na­tional Trade Bei­jing Sub-coun­cil's Vice Pres­i­dent Li Luxia stated: “Bei­jing is a na­tional cul­tural cen­tre, an in­ter­na­tional ex­change cen­tre and has been ac­tive in car­ry­ing out this great ini­tia­tive. Bei­jing is a grand plat­form for in­ter­na­tional ex­change and an im­por­tant city for cul­tural cre­ativ­ity and in­te­gra­tion. The ini­tia­tive is also a win­win plat­form for peo­ple to work to­gether and seek com­mon cul­tural ground. Bei­jing hosts events like Colour­ful World to pro­vide a stage for Belt and Road coun­tries to present the cul­tures that they are proud of, give peo­ple hands-on ex­pe­ri­ence of the colour­ful world we are liv­ing in, give full play to the di­ver­sity of cul­tures in our world and dis­play the charm of Bei­jing as an in­ter­na­tional hub and thriv­ing me­trop­o­lis.”

Li con­tin­ued: “The ‘Colour­ful World' event is a di­a­logue of civil­i­sa­tions, a show­case of in­ter­per­sonal con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween peo­ple from coun­tries along the Belt and Road, and a stage for world cul­tural ex­changes and ex­hi­bi­tions. We speak dif­fer­ent lan­guages, but we have a com­mon wish. To­gether, we are a colour­ful world.”

Three Years of Ef­fort A Feast of Cul­tures

It is ev­i­dent that the third “Colour­ful World” event has be­come an in­ter­na­tional plat­form for the coun­tries along Belt and Road to show­case their cul­tures and an im­por­tant chan­nel for com­mu­ni­ca­tion and ex­change be­tween China and other coun­tries. Pro­mo­tions of dif­fer­ent na­tions, fash­ion shows, cul­tural per­for­mances and booth dis­plays have be­come the fea­tured ac­tiv­i­ties of the “Colour­ful World.” This feast of cul­tures has won sup­port from em­bassies and favour from vis­i­tors.

Var­i­ous ex­hi­bi­tions and won­der­ful cul­tural ex­change ac­tiv­i­ties have made the event a block­buster since its first it­er­a­tion in 2016, with pro­grammes such as cul­ture ex­hi­bi­tions held by coun­tries along the Belt and Road, “For­eign Car­toon­ists Fo­cus­ing on Bei­jing” ex­hi­bi­tion and per­for­mances staged by over­seas stu­dents in Bei­jing. Unique ex­hi­bi­tions cov­er­ing styles, eth­nic cus­toms and peo­ple's lives were dis­played. Ex­quis­ite works dis­played by the ten top car­toon­ists from seven coun­tries high­lighted the artis­tic at­mos­phere of Bei­jing. More than ten em­bassies in Bei­jing par­tic­i­pated dur­ing the first year, in­clud­ing the Peo­ple's Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Al­ge­ria, the Repub­lic of Bul­garia, the Repub­lic of Croa­tia, the Repub­lic of Cameroon, the Fed­eral Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Ethiopia, the Arab Repub­lic of Egypt, the Is­lamic Repub­lic of Iran, the Repub­lic of Mal­dives, the Fed­eral Demo­cratic Repub­lic of Nepal, the Repub­lic of Namibia, the Rus­sian Fed­er­a­tion and the Demo­cratic So­cial­ist Repub­lic of Sri Lanka. Their staff mem­bers com­mu­ni­cated face-to-face with vis­i­tors and pro­moted their cul­ture and tourism re­sources, unique eth­nic cus­toms and lo­cal charm.

In 2017, the sec­ond “Colour­ful World” event ar­rived as ex­pected. Em­bassies and stu­dents from in­ter­na­tional schools in

Bei­jing staged eye-catch­ing per­for­mances, rep­re­sent­ing the cul­tures of 40 coun­tries along Belt and Road dur­ing the three­day event. Colour­ful ac­tiv­i­ties, pas­sion­ate dances, fas­ci­nat­ing ex­otic and other of­fer­ings mu­sic made the “Colour­ful World” stage one of the most pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tions dur­ing the 12th ICCIE.

Coun­tries in­clud­ing Le­sotho, Hun­gary, Ro­ma­nia, Ser­bia and Croa­tia pre­sented their coun­tries' rich­ness, beauty, folk­lore and cul­ture by mak­ing use of lim­ited stage time.

The staff of the Tourism Of­fice of the Hun­gar­ian Em­bassy in China led its au­di­ence on a “tour to Hun­gary” through a touch­ing speech. The beau­ti­ful night view of its cap­i­tal of Bu­dapest, spe­cial Tokaji noble wine and scenic spots such as Eu­rope's largest nat­u­ral hot spring lake in He­vis and other beau­ti­ful scenery were de­scribed and de­picted. Its cap­i­tal of Bucharest is known as the “Paris of Eastern Eu­rope” and lies along the Danube River. The diplo­mat of cul­ture, ed­u­ca­tion and me­dia af­fairs at the Ser­bian Em­bassy in China pro­vided in­for­ma­tion about the coun­try's mag­nif­i­cent canyons, forests and hot springs, his­tor­i­cal cul­tures, and the ro­bust cul­tural and creative in­dus­tries of this an­cient and mod­ern coun­try, per­fectly in­te­grat­ing tra­di­tion and mod­ern el­e­ments. Rwanda brought won­der­ful pho­tos for the au­di­ence of wild African an­i­mals, such as ele­phants and gi­raffes roam­ing on the grass­lands; world-renowned Ara­bica cof­fee with the fra­grance of fruits and grass; in­ti­mate in­ter­ac­tion be­tween peo­ple and chim­panzees in the jun­gle; hos­pitable lo­cal peo­ple sing­ing and danc­ing; and so on.

Cloth­ing is part of the vivid man­i­fes­ta­tion of hu­man cul­ture. A fash­ion show dis­play­ing the na­tional dress of var­i­ous coun­tries was an­other high­light of the sec­ond “Colour­ful World” event. The show was co-staged by rep­re­sen­ta­tives from Ethiopia, Hun­gary, Peru, Lithua­nia, Ro­ma­nia, Su­dan, Be­larus, Mon­go­lia, Kaza­khstan, Ghana and Rus­sia.

Dance is one of the ear­li­est art forms in hu­man his­tory and played an im­por­tant role in rit­ual cel­e­bra­tions be­fore the agrar­ian rev­o­lu­tion. Dances from around the world are a di­rect man­i­fes­ta­tion of the cus­toms, so­cial fea­tures, cul­tural tra­di­tions and na­tional char­ac­ters of var­i­ous eth­nic groups. The var­i­ous dance per­for­mances at the sec­ond “Colour­ful World” at­tracted many view­ers and are one of the best car­ri­ers of ex­otic cul­tures. Mu­si­cians from dif­fer­ent coun­tries and re­gions played mu­sic of var­i­ous styles and in var­i­ous forms. Songs that are well known around the world were per­formed, as well as rare folk mu­sic. Though some­times vary­ing sig­nif­i­cantly in style, all of the mu­sic moved the au­di­ence, echo­ing the fact that mu­sic is a uni­ver­sal lan­guage.

Stu­dents from in­ter­na­tional schools in Bei­jing also pre­sented won­der­ful per­for­mances. A comedic per­for­mance de­liv­ered by Zhang Xiao­hua Art Life was well re­ceived.

In the past three years, the “Bei­jing Salon • Ex­pe­ri­ence Bei­jing” event has be­come an im­por­tant plat­form for for­eign­ers in Bei­jing to ex­pe­ri­ence and learn more about Bei­jing and Chi­nese cul­ture. It staged Kunqu Opera-re­lated events dur­ing the sec­ond “Colour­ful World” event. Peter from Rwanda tried on an opera cos­tume and was re­luc­tant to leave the stage. He later said: “I had great fun. I can dance and en­joy Chi­nese cul­ture. I have been in Bei­jing for two years, but it is the first time I have had con­tact with Kunqu Opera. It is fresh and ex­cit­ing for me. I am look­ing for­ward to par­tic­i­pat­ing in the next event.”

2018 marks five years since Gen­eral Sec­re­tary Xi Jin­ping pro­posed the BRI and the third con­sec­u­tive year that the “Colour­ful World—cul­tural Ex­hi­bi­tion of Coun­tries along the Belt and Road” event has been held. This cul­tural feast has be­come more and more in­ter­na­tional and diver­si­fied. The event has made a great im­pact ev­ery year, be­come an im­por­tant part of cul­tural ex­changes and an im­por­tant plat­form for win-win co­op­er­a­tion be­tween coun­tries re­gard­ing cul­ture, eco­nom­ics, tourism and in­vest­ment.

A Va­ri­ety of Styles Be­fore Your Very Eyes

Dur­ing the third “Colour­ful World” event, the em­bassies of Egypt, Be­larus, Peru, Benin, Iran, Afghanista­n, Rus­sia, Sri

Lanka, Cuba, Turkey, Zim­babwe, Ethiopia, Kaza­khstan, Ro­ma­nia and other coun­tries in­tro­duced as­pects re­lated to tourism and in­vest­ment in their re­spec­tive coun­tries. The dif­fer­ent cul­tures of each coun­try were dis­played on the big screen, im­print­ing them­selves in the au­di­ence's hearts.

When you think of Egypt, do you only think of the pyra­mids? In fact, al­though th­ese an­cient struc­tures are the most sym­bolic cul­tural legacy in the coun­try, Egypt also boasts nu­mer­ous other cul­tural trea­sures and nat­u­ral scenery, as well as be­ing one of the four great an­cient civil­i­sa­tions.

Shen Yusi, a staff mem­ber from the Sci­ence, Cul­ture and Ed­u­ca­tion Depart­ment at the Egyp­tian Em­bassy in China, showed a se­ries of slides whilst in­tro­duc­ing: “Egypt has hun­dreds of pyra­mids, but the most fa­mous are the Giza Pyra­mids in Cairo… The city of Alexan­dria gets its name from the king of Greek and Mace­don, Alexan­der the Great, who con­quered Egypt.”

Sheng Yusi be­gan his in­tro­duc­tion with Cairo, the cap­i­tal of Egypt, and con­tin­ued to in­tro­duce this mys­te­ri­ous and an­cient coun­try. Next, he took the au­di­ence on a “tour” of the Abu Sim­bel, Kar­nak and Luxor tem­ples, and their ex­quis­ite re­li­gious art. Dur­ing his 2016 visit to Egypt, Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping spoke at the Luxor Tem­ple com­plex, a place where Egyp­tian, Chris­tian and Mus­lim re­li­gious build­ings stand in har­mony. The Kar­nak Tem­ple is by far the coun­try's best-pre­served, largest and old­est tem­ple com­plex, and fea­tured in the fa­mous 1978 film Death on the Nile. Next came a re­lax­ing tour of the River Nile, with boats, Sufi dances and Egyp­tian cui­sine. Be­sides his­tor­i­cal sites, Egypt is also blessed with beau­ti­ful nat­u­ral scenery. Sharm El Sheikh is the coun­try's most fa­mous hol­i­day re­sort. It lies on the Red Sea and is a par­adise for div­ing. Hun­dreds of species of trop­i­cal fish and bizarre-look­ing co­ral reefs are in the area. In the Siwa Oa­sis in west­ern Egypt, ad­ja­cent to the Sa­hara desert, there are fresh­wa­ter and salt lakes and hun­dreds of springs. In the desert, vis­i­tors can visit the dunes and en­joy the star-filled night sky. In his pre­sen­ta­tion, Cheng Yusi em­pha­sised: “It is far more beau­ti­ful in real life.”

Af­ter learn­ing about the mys­ter­ies of Egypt, the au­di­ence was pre­sented with an­other his­toric coun­try, That coun­try was Peru. The world's long­est moun­tain range, the An­des, runs through the coun­try, and the world's largest river, the Ama­zon, orig­i­nates in the moun­tains of the cen­tral Peru­vian plateau. There are many sto­ries hid­den in the vast land of Peru.

The coun­try is lo­cated in west­ern South Amer­ica and cov­ers an area of 1,285,216 and its coast­line stretches 2,254 km. It is bor­dered by Ecuador and Colom­bia in the north, Brazil in the east, Chile in the south, Bo­livia in the south­east and the Pa­cific Ocean in the west. Peru is one of the world's an­cient civil­i­sa­tions, with some of the old­est ci­ties in the Amer­i­cas and ad­vanced me­tal­lurgy. There are more than 60 lan­guages spo­ken in Peru, in­clud­ing Quechua, Ay­mara and other indige­nous lan­guages. Peru, like China, has 56 eth­nic groups all with dif­fer­ent cus­toms and cul­tures. The cap­i­tal city of Lima is the only cap­i­tal in the world sit­u­ated by the sea. It com­bines moder­nity and cul­ture, mak­ing it the first choice for trav­ellers to the coun­try. The coun­try's north­ern beaches have a thou­sand years of cul­ture, its south­ern beaches are renowned for their beauty and the Nazca Lines are a fa­mous tourist at­trac­tion. The city of Cusco is also a pop­u­lar at­trac­tion. It is lo­cated at an alti­tude of 3,410 m and known as the “Jewel in the Crown of the An­des” and the “Cra­dle of An­cient Inca Cul­ture.” The Ama­zon rain­for­est is the largest of its kind in the world. In Peru, vis­i­tors can ex­plore the unique plants and an­i­mals and even take a boat down the river.

Step­ping out of the rain­for­est and into the beau­ti­ful In­dian Ocean, we ar­rive at Sri Lanka. The coun­try was re­cently voted as one of the best coun­tries in the world to visit by Lonely Planet. The na­tional sym­bol of Sri Lanka is the Lion Flag. The image de­picts the lo­ca­tion of the coun­try's is­lands in the In­dian Ocean.

Ac­cord­ing to its in­tro­duc­tion, there are many rea­sons Sri Lanka has be­come a pop­u­lar tourist des­ti­na­tion. The coun­try has a trop­i­cal cli­mate with rainy and dry sea­sons. The dry sea­son can be very hot, al­though it is rel­a­tively cool in the moun­tains, es­pe­cially in Naula, where the

Distin­guished guests par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Open­ing Cer­e­mony of the third ‘‘Colour­ful World’’—cul­tural Ex­hi­bi­tion of Coun­tries along the Belt and Road” event

A staff mem­ber from the Em­bassy of the Arab Repub­lic of Egypt in­tro­duc­ing the coun­try’s tourism re­sources

Pro­grammes fea­tur­ing tra­di­tional Chi­nese cul­ture pre­sented by young per­form­ers

Sichuan Opera’s bian­lian (“face-chang­ing ef­fect”)

A pre­sen­ta­tion of tra­di­tional Rus­sian cloth­ing

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