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|Thursday, October 05, 2000, updated at 15:52(GMT+8)|
Chinese Acrobats Conquer Kenyans"It is really impressing since I have never seen such a Chinese acrobatic show before, " said Peter Ndiso, a middle aged Kenyan, after he watched the performance at the Bomas cultural village in the suburbs of Kenya's capital Nairobi.
Ndiso, who has worked with a Chinese company for more than 10 years, said with emotion: "I enjoyed very much the culture from the Oriental."
No glittery lights, nor sophisticated stage set, yet only 12 performers from Tianjin Acrobatic Troupe of China conquered Kenyans with their exquisite acrobatic performances from September 18 to October 2.
They presented Kenyans with a wide range of acrobatic programs such as the juggling of umbrellas with feet and spinning of small red carpets on toes as well as small-scale magic performances.
Wherever it went, the troupe won a storm of applause from the enthusiastic audience. Although it left here for home two days ago, Kenyans are still talking about it in schools, shops, parking lots, tourist attractions and offices. Newspapers carried colorful photographs and articles, praising the unique culture from ancient China.
The performance by three youngest members of the troupe, Zhang Qian aged 12, Sun Shengsheng and Dong Yin, both 13, which won the Golden Lion Prize and the Silver Prize respectively in China and Belgium, left Kenyans a deep impression.
The three lovely girls, with several dozens of glass goblets on their heads, hands and feet, twisted their bodies up and down on a big table, while the goblets stood still.
"It's magical. I could hardly believe my eyes and I was afraid that the girls would fall from the table," said a boy at Kenya International School.
During their four-day trip to Kenya's southwestern Nyanzar Province and southeastern Coast Province, the Chinese acrobats performed together with local artists, learning from each other's cultural diversity.
"I knew little about China, but its performance opened a window for me to acquaint myself with the Chinese culture. It is so marvelous," said a dancer with Bushere Girls High School after watching the show.
"Chinese culture is really fantastic," George Mwange, a tourist guide in Kenya's cultural village said.
The Chinese performers gave a total of 14 performances, attracting an audience of 100,000 during a half month tour of the east African country. They got up early and slept late to meet the tight schedule.
"We came here to raise funds for drought-relief in Kenya, not for sight-seeing or safari," Sun Shengsheng told Xinhua.
In fact, they not only acted as friendly envoys of bilateral cultural exchanges, but also helped raise about 2 million shillings (around 30,000 U.S. dollars) for nearly 3.3 million Kenyan people in drought-stricken areas.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya An Yongyu said that the arrival of Tianjin Acrobatic Troupe of China just preceded the China-Africa Cooperation Forum to be opened in Beijing on October 10, which would greatly boost the cultural exchanges and mutual understanding between the peoples of Kenya and China.
Like a female Chinese magician who plucked out a banner reading "Long live Kenya-China Friendship" during her performance, all the troupe members are actually magicians who have drawn the hearts of the two peoples closer across vast oceans.
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