July 25,2017--Folk singing and dance performances by multi-ethnic groups from West China have given Scotland a rare chance to explore the colorful cultural landscape of the region.
The weekend event at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre featured Cucurbit flute, peacock dancing and fashion shows of ethnic costumes in Yunnan province and Tibet autonomous region.
An exhibition, featuring 100 photographs and 18 cultural artifacts, themed Color of West China, was also displayed as part of the Cultural Exploration of West China tour, which kicked off in London and will visit Manchester, in north west England, and Dublin, in 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 Guangjin, director-general of the State Council Information Office of China who co-organized the tour with the Chinese embassy in UK, said the events "showcase both the culture 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 has already toured Germany, Italy, the US 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 people-to-people exchanges are 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 built 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 welcomes an increasing number of Chinese students and tourists and will host more Chinese performers at the world-famous Edinburgh festival in August.
"Chinese initiatives, such as the monumental Belt and Road (Initiative) offer new chances to build links with China's west regions," Tynte-Irvine said.