It was a colourful display of art and music, on Wednesday evening, as the Chinese community in Rwanda welcomed the Chinese New Year.
The event, attended by top government officials, diplomats and invited guests, also marked the end of three months of celebrations of the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of China-Rwanda diplomatic relations.
Activities to mark the event which began on November 12, 2011, ended with the rewarding of three Rwandans, who excelled in an essay writing competition on China-Rwanda relations.
In an interview, Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda Shu Zhan told The New Times that the anniversary featured various cultural activities including essay writing competition, Chinese film shows and art exhibitions, among others.
“The China-Rwanda relations is not only based on economic and trade [which is very important] but also promoting culture through art and music,” he noted.
The show was characterised by exciting performances by Tianjin Arts Troupe of China, which showcased Chinese dance, percussion and acrobatics much to the joy of the guests.
“It is the first time to bring Chinese artistes to perform in Rwanda and we have already got a positive feed back. We intend to invite the troupe again next year,” the Chinese envoy noted .
Guests at Kigali Serena Hotel’s “Muhazi” Hall were treated to soft drinks and snacks, as well as beautiful art displays before the performances.
China’s multi-performance group , Tianjin Song and Dance Theatre, staged an exhilarating presentation that left the crowd longing for more.
The troupe encompasses well-known artistes including Yu Shuzhen, Guan Muchun and Shi Guannan. Tianjin Song and Dance Theatre has performed in more than 50 countries around the world, with the purpose of cultural exchange.
To reflect diversity, the National Ballet-(Urukerereza) staged rich Kinyarwanda traditional performances.
A traditional Chinese dance “Yang Liu Qing” opened the evening event followed by an acrobatics performance“Revolve the Blanket” by a flexible Chinese female acrobat.
A performance by Chinese Percussionists themed “Festivity” and a dance “Custom of Yi Minority”-a dance by traditional dances of Yi tribe, were some of the other highlights of the evening.
Other acts included the Suona Solo“Pluck Dates”, the “One Piece of New Poem” dance and the modern folk music performance dubbed “Fly”.
The night was crowned by a group performance dubbed “Local Customs of Asia and Africa”, which saw Rwandan government officials and Chinese diplomats join the artistes on stage in a show of solidarity.
The Minister of Culture and Sports, Protais Mitali, highlighted the strong bilateral ties between Rwanda and China, noting that the event showed how diverse the cultures of the two countries can get.
He noted that the two countries have shared a long history of ties, ranging from economy to culture.