Journey to the heart of culture

08:42, July 05, 2010      

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German luxury carmaker BMW's support for Chinese culture was once again illustrated last month when it and its joint venture partner organized the fourth annual BMW China Culture Journey.

In collaboration with the National Academy's Art Protection Center, this year's caravan - titled "The Discovery of Origins and the Spirit of Togetherness"- journeyed for 10 days from 2010 World Expo host city Shanghai along coastal provinces in southeast China and finished in Meizhou of Guangdong province.

The trip traversed the spiritual home shared across the Taiwan Straits to explore, study and protect close cultural ties.

Donations from the auto icon to the China Charity Federation BMW Warm Heart Fund totaling 1 million yuan will help salvage and protect cultural relics in greatest need, as well assist scientific research at universities along the route.

Tracing origins

"We've just concluded a wonderful 2,200 km journey that illustrates the magnificence of the area's maritime culture and explores the spirit of togetherness across the Straits," said Olaf Kastner, president and CEO of BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd.

Christoph Stark, president and CEO of BMW Group Region China, noted "the Shanghai World Expo has made history - but what impressed me most is the Chinese cultural element found in many pavilions in the Expo Park, which I believe vividly illustrates the influence of Chinese culture in today's world".

"All the surprises China has brought to the world have for sure proven that inheritance is the thrust for progress and the source for sustainable development."

"The 2010 BMW China Culture Journey demonstrates China's unique maritime, Minnan and Hakka cultures have had far-reaching impacts on world civilization," added Stark.

Chinese culture is not only a wealth shared by the Chinese on both sides of the Taiwan Straits, but also a bond that holds Chinese people around the world together, he said.

Answering the call for "intangible cultural heritage on campus" by the Ministry of Culture, this year's event emphasized donations for research at universities along the journey.

"The event sponsors campus exhibitions and funds studies and research for protection of intangible cultural heritages," said Wang Nengxian, deputy director of the Ministry of Culture.

This fall BMW will hold an exhibition of pictures, video and objects that highlight the sojourn.

"These actions all reflect BMW's devotion to spreading joy and responsibility," Stark said.

"Through the China Charity Federation-BMW Warm Heart Fund, we will continue to organize care and lend support for the protection and inheritance of cultural gems," he noted.

The latest journey is part of the auto giant's ongoing pursuit of a deepening understanding of China and its sustainable development, organizers said.

As a key component of BMW's corporate responsibility, the cultural program has sponsored caravans through 12 provinces since 2007.

The fleet has visited more than 100 cultural sites and contributed more than 4 million yuan in donations for protection of heritage.

Gongguzi dancing, a folk drum performance from Gansu province that the group supported in its first cultural journey, has since been listed as protected national intangible cultural heritage.

Source:China Daily


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