Let mutual understanding lead Sino-U.S. cultural exchanges

16:50, January 13, 2011      

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Further deepening cultural exchanges

In the context of rapid globalization, Sino-U.S. cultural exchanges have never been so intense and in great need of mutual understanding. This is particularly true of the association of mutual understanding and friendship between the two people, which gives rise to the concept of "China element with global perspective".

China and the United States continue to deepen cultural exchange and cooperation and make joint efforts in mechanism construction. The second "Sino-U.S. Cultural Forum" was held at the University of California at Berkeley last October with the theme "Cross-Cultural Bilateral Dialogue." Some 30 experts, scholars and artists from both sides attended and talked freely on the topics of China-U.S. cultural comparison, history of China-U.S. cultural relations, literature legacy and creation. The forum drew wide appreciation and yielded fruitful results.

The two sides also renewed a memorandum of understanding and agreed to hold the third and fourth forums in China and the United States in 2012 and 2014, respectively. James Leach, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities noted that cultural exchanges and respect to each other's culture play a very important role. He added that countries would no longer maintain healthy ties without respect to culture.

Art class: Platform for communication

Diversification is another feature of Sino-U.S. cultural communication currently. "A Handful of Wild Jujubes," a dance drama by artists from both countries, came under the spotlight at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and aroused great interests of local Americans. Mainstream media in the United States, such as the Washington Post, covered the show.

In February this year, a Chinese orchestra from Anhui Province presented a traditional folk music show before American audiences at the same place, introducing the charm and romance of Oriental culture to Western viewers.

The Chinese Embassy to the United States, well-known for its classic and modern design and rich collection of art work, functions as a core platform for Sino-U.S. cultural exchanges. World Artist Experience, Smithsonian Institution and The Rose Group for Cross-Culture as well as dozens of other assorted visitors have visited the embassy.

Chinese staff introduced the calligraphy and painting, art work and design to the American visitors. A huge casting in the shape of a Simuwu Cooking Vessel, a big and beautiful vase, Chinese painting as well as Suzhou embroidery have drawn praise and admiration from American guests. Additionally, the embassy also held piano concerts for Chinese living in the United State from January to October last year. All these activities have deepened the understanding between the two peoples.

Communication at grassroots level also wonderful

Cultural exchange between grassroots organizations in China and the United States are also wonderful. At the invitation of the World Artist Experience, the "Colorful China" art troupe performed for American audiences in the states of Virginia, Washington D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey with performances showcasing the culture of China's ethnic minorities.

There were no stars in the troupe, but singers and performers in the troupe captivated audiences with their plain and simple songs and dances. The performance venues were shabby and the cast and crew lived with families of ordinary American citizens. The wonderful show on stage and the free exchanges off stage enhanced the cultural exchanges on the grassroots level.

According to American colleagues, it was a wonderful experience to invite Chinese performers to live with ordinary American families, which laid the foundation for long-term friendships. People with different cultural backgrounds lived under the same roof and shared food, life experiences, happiness as well as sorrow. All of them said they had learned a lot from each other.

By Zhang Xinyi, People's Daily Online


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