Brics Financial Media


Welcoming the Dragon

By Kirtan Bhana

Talented and skilled performers with dignitaries at the Chinese New Year Gala (photo: Embassy of China)

Expressing wishes of a bumper harvest, Ambassador Siyabonga Cwele of South Africa to China extended his heartfelt New Year wishes to the people of China. Ambassador Cwele actively participated in the celebrations, showcasing traditional and cultural performances hosted by the Embassy of China to South Africa, alongside Ambassador Chen Xiaodong.

Minister Patricia de Lille of Tourism for South Africa conveyed her well wishes on this auspicious occasion of the Lunar New Year, recounting her recent visit to the People’s Republic of China. She highlighted a statistic, stating that out of the 40 million people who travelled out of China last year, only 28,000 visited South Africa. Minister de Lille emphasized her ministry's dedication to streamlining the visa process for Chinese visitors.
Ambassador Chen Xaiodong, Minister Patricia de Lille and Ambassador Siyabonga Cwele enjoying the Gala evening  (photos - Embassy of China)

During her three-city visit to Beijing, Kunming, and Shanghai, Minister de Lille engaged in fruitful discussions with Minister Sun Yeli, her counterpart in Culture and Tourism. The establishment of a Tourism office for China in South Africa will encourage South Africans to explore the wonders of China – its beauty, hospitality, rich culture, ancient history, and modern dynamism.

Ambassador Chen Xiaodong received commendation for his exceptional efforts in strengthening the bond between the peoples of both countries. He was lauded for extending unwavering support to South Africa and proactively addressing the current energy challenges that hinder the nation's growth and development, impeding its true potential.
Prof. Li Baosheng of the Confucius Institute at the University of Johannesburg explaing the develpment of Chinese characters through the millenia to guests who attended the gala  (photo: TDS)

The festivities commenced with the opening dance titled ‘Happy Song of the Golden Age,' marking the Chinese New Year Gala. This showcase was a dazzling display of the splendor of cross-cultural, rich, and diverse traditions, sights, sounds, and stories from China. The precision, coordination, and artistry of the performers in Shaolin, Kung Fu, and Tai Chi, accompanied by music and dance, presented a spectacular exhibition of Chinese Martial Arts. Solo performances on Suona and Erhu, featuring excerpts from the Henan Opera, captivated the audience during this outstanding Gala evening.

This cultural exchange seamlessly aligned with the vision reflected in the principles of the Global Civilization Initiative. At its core, the initiative advocates for respect for the diversity of civilizations, the significance of inheritance and innovation, common values, and face-to-face connections. Inclusivity, dialogue, and mutual learning among civilizations are seen as key elements fostering a sense of belonging, acceptance, trust, coexistence, and respect.

February 10th will mark the beginning of the Year of the Dragon – Loong in Chinese. This symbolic year ushers in a period of calm confidence, synonymous with loyalty, emphasizing the importance of consistency in relying on one's skills, knowledge, and talents.




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