On January 24, the "Happy Chinese New Year" activities debuted at the Flagey Arts Center in Brussels, Belgium. Dignitaries in attendance included China's Ambassador to the EU, H.E. Mme. Yang Yanyi, China's Ambassador to Belgium H.E. Mr. Qu Xing, Managing Director of Asia-Pacific of EEAS Mr. Gunnar Wiegand, Director-General of Operations at Belgocontrol Mr. Michel Dascotte.. Nearly 700 participants from EU institutions, foreign diplomatic missions, international organizations, EU think tanks, EU and Belgian business associations and community groups, representatives from Chinese enterprises, overseas Chinese and Chinese and foreign news media also joined the celebration.
Speaking before the performance, H.E. Ambassador Yang Yanyi explained that the Spring Festival is the most important holiday for the Chinese people. It is a time to reunite with their loved ones, share the joy of the holiday season and hope for better days ahead. As we ring in the year of the Rooster, the Yinchuan Art Troupe of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China, delighted the audience with an audio-visual extravaganza incorporating elements of dance, acrobatics, singing and instrumental music. The performance not only conveyed a relaxed and festive atmosphere, but also communicated the good wishes exchanged between the peoples of China and Europe. Through the show, the audience experienced the unique cultural charms of the ethnic minority areas in China and felt the hospitality of the Chinese people.
In his remarks, Mr. Wiegand thanked the Chinese organizers for presenting this rich extravaganza to the people of Europe. Over the last year, China and the EU have made positive strides in advancing cultural exchanges. China and Europe are strong partners and it is the hope of both sides to further strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the political, economic, trade, cultural and international fields.
Through the theatrical performance of superb acrobatics, gorgeous choreography and moving music, the themes of national unity, cultural uniqueness, religious harmony "charm Ningxia", economic development, social progress, people's happiness in contemporary China are expressed. The artistry captivated and impressed the audience deeply. Many said not only did they enjoy, up close, the unique cultural charm of ethnic minority culture in China, they also learned more about the profound Chinese civilization. At the intangible cultural heritage exhibition, which took place before the performance, participants were treated to the art of Ningxia Youlong paper cutting, Zhao shadow puppets, and hemp and clay sculpture. The exhibition attracted a large number of European visitors who were deeply impressed by how well China's intangible cultural heritage has been protected and developed.