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Cultural treat from China
The Guangdong Art Group exposed Barbadians to Chinese culture last Wednesday evening at the Sir Garfield Sobers Sports Complex where patrons were treated to Chinese martial arts, music, dance, acrobats and magic.
Minister of Culture Steve Blackett said that the display was organised in the spirit of the cultural agreement between the governments of the People’s Republic of China and Barbados, which has been in existence from as far back as 1980.
Saying that he hopes that there will be more cultural exchanges, Minister Blackett said that they enable the enjoyment of the glamour and diversity of performing art troupes, musicians, writers and dancers.
“This is of critical importance, because it allows us here in Barbados, and particularly it allows our young people, to benefit from exposure to cultures other than our own, or cultures which are on our own doorstep...It gives them an invaluable opportunity to experience the cultures of our global neighbours and to share ours with them.”
“An event like this erases the vast distance between us. It brings China to us, and for that short time, we ourselves are in China. It is in so doing . . . that we can effectively promote mutual understanding of, and respect for, the incredible cultural diversity of the world,” said Minister Blackett.
He added that Barbados is looking forward to the time “when we too can share our culture with the people of China, facilitated by our soon to be established Embassy in Beijing.”
In his remarks, the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Barbados Qiang Wei said, “we hope to be able to contribute to a better understanding of the Chinese people by the Barbadian people by brining together . . . this folk art show in close conjunction with the Barbadian Government.”
Director-General in charge of Culture in the Guangdong provincial government, Fang Jianhong said that the art of Guangdong is a special and unique part of Chinese culture in its music and characteristics; it has a long history.”
“Although China and Barbados are far from each other geographically, the hearts of our two peoples are together. I wish that this night could act as a bridge and the performances act as ties for our friendship,” said Jianhong.
The Art Troupe visited Barbados for two performances as part of a Caribbean tour.