Colombo, September 25 (newsin.asia) The Guangxi Cultural Week being held in Sri Lanka to mark the 60 th. anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Sri Lanka, got off to a colorful start here on Monday, with a program of songs, dances and acrobatics which kept the audience spell bound.
The items chosen presented China’s cultural and ethnic diversity. Guangxi province located in the south of the country was chosen this year because of its cultural diversity. It has about 40 ethnicities, China’s Ambassador Yi Xianliang said in his introductory speech.
The other reason for starting off with Guangxi is that Buddhism came to that province from Sri Lanka. Yi said that cultural ties since then have kept the two countries together. He added that he is very keen to strengthen these ties through regular interchange of artistes.
Sri Lankan Minister of Culture S.B.Navinna,who was the chief guest, said that Sri Lanka-China ties go back to 210 AD and have been beneficial to both.
In the painting exhibition held at the premises, Sri Lankan and Chinese artistes who had visited each other’s country, portrayed their impressions of the land and the people they saw. It was delightful to show Chinese artistes represented Sri Lankan themes in a uniquely Chinese way.
The Director of the Chinese Cultural Center in Colombo, Liwen Yue, said that his plan is to bring to Sri Lanka one Chinese province each year to give the people of the island an idea of the diverse cultures of China. Last year, Sri Lankans were treated to the rich culture of Inner Mongolia.
Costumes, jewelry, textiles, music and dances vary from province to province and ethnic group to ethnic group.
At the inaugural function, textiles and colorful wall decorations and ethnic dresses were exhibited.
The cultural program began with a folk song made famous by the singer Liu San Jie. The song demanded a very wide voice range and grit to hold on to notes for a long time. But the young singer proved equal to the challenge and was applauded lustily.
This was followed by a graceful group dance resembling Sri Lanka’s own Kandyan dance. The background music was a mix of the Chinese and Western to make it appealing to all. An acrobatic dance had the audience wowing the young couple whose feats were as breath taking as they were graceful and flawless.
A solo musician played melodious tunes on a native oboe and an ornate wind instrument which looked a saxophone. The modern orchestra which accompanied him enriched the plaintive folk tunes he played.
A solo devil dance, threw up many surprises. Intriguingly, the mask that the dancer wore kept changing every now and then. It was only at the very end that the audience discovered to their amazement that the dancer was a puppeteer! And to add that, the ferocious devil dancer was actually a pretty girl.
(The featured picture at the top shows a scene from the traditional cum modern ballet)