Bridging cultures | Daily News

Bridging cultures

Dancing group. Pictures by Sarath Peiris
Dancing group. Pictures by Sarath Peiris

Sixty years of Diplomatic Ties between China and Sri Lanka and its overall impact upon the general political environment in the world is one of great fascination. Indeed it is a partnership that has had a huge impact on Sri Lanka economically and socially. Its impact has been felt by almost all segments of Sri Lankan society. It has been a partnership that has been closely watched by the great powers in the world. It is a necklace of pearls around both countries.

Sri Lanka is going through a period of great change. The Chinese Government still wants to honour these ties and wishes to further consolidate this relationship. Therefore for the first time in Sri Lanka, the Guangxi Cultural Week was held recently.

Guangxi Region comprises of many ethnicities of China and the region is popular due to its rich cultural heritage and beautiful natural landscape. The China Cultural Center in Sri Lanka initiated this unique program with the contribution and advice of the Embassy of the Peoples’ Republic of China in Sri Lanka.

The opening ceremony consisted of feats displayed by the performers who displayed amazing acrobatic skills. The Guangxi costumes and ornaments displayed at the Chinese Cultural Center at the opening ceremony were certainly beautiful and gave an understanding about the textile sector in the Guangxi region of China. A painting exhibition was also held parallel to the event by Chinese and Sri Lankan painters.

The Minister of Cultural affairs, Wayamba development, S.B. Navinna and the Ambassador of the Peoples’ Republic of China Yi Xian Liang attended the opening of the Guangxi Cultural Week.

In his address the Ambassador stated that it was his great pleasure to be present at such an important event occurring in this juncture of time.

“All the stakeholders and individuals must be congratulated for this noble endeavor. Guangxi is a very diverse region. There are so many minorities. Today’s event pays tribute to this cultural diversity. I have visited this area many times. So this theme of cultural diversity is relevant to 60 years of diplomatic ties between China and Sri Lanka. Events of this nature bring Guangxi and Sri Lanka much closer since there are many similarities between the two cultures. The people in both regions are so friendly and open. This is the first time we have the Guangxi cultural week and this is a new milestone. Human beings are cultural animals and we are attuned to each other culturally. This is why cultural relations between China and Sri Lanka are so important,” said Ambassador Liang. He also emphasized on the importance of people understanding each other.

Minister of Cultural affairs, Wayamba development, S. B. Navinna,stated that China and Sri Lanka have a long history, with the two countries enjoying a traditional friendship as close neighbors.

“This year marks the 60 anniversary of the establishment of Diplomatic relations between the two countries. During this eventful long period our business relations have been further strengthened. This relationship and corporation between Sri Lanka and China will definitely yield rich dividends for both countries. May the friendship between our two countries be everlasting and benefitting for our people,” Minister said.

China Cultural Center in Sri Lanka, Director, Liwen Yuesaid Guangxi cultural week is a programme that will have a positive impact on cultural ties between the two countries.

“Guangxi cultural week is a comprehensive programme. What we want to do is to introduce Chinese local cultural styles to Sri Lankans so that the local people will understand more about China. I must say that the painting exhibition is a learning experience for all involved. Since being established as a formal institution to promote the exchange of culture/education between the two countries, the China Cultural Center in Sri Lanka has been actively involved in many programmes which were a first to many Sri Lankans,” Yue said.

The Guangxi cultural troop in Sri Lanka, a team of 40 skilled traditional singers and beautiful dancers took part in this week long schedule of events where special shows free of charge were held atChina Cultural Center, The Nelum Pokuna Theater, CINEC maritime institute theater and Anuradhapura Central College, Anuradhapura.

With the vision of re-establishing the new maritime Silk route and with the initiative to create greater awareness of the economic prosperity that could have been achieved, the Chinese government has been engaging with a series of activities and the establishment of the China Cultural Center (CCC) in Sri Lanka is one such initiative of the cultural ministry of China. 


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