By Sam Banda Jnr:
Chinese Ambassador to Malawi, Liu Hongyang, said on Friday culture is very important and key to every nation saying “it tells a story as to who we are”.
The Chinese Ambassador said this during the celebration of the Chinese New Year held at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe
“It is very important for a nation to cherish its own values through its culture. Culture is what a nation is all about,” he said.
The Chinese New Year, popularly known as Chinese Spring Festival, is a period of celebration, reunion and renewal.
The event kicked off with an exhibition of photographs that spoke volumes of China and also its relationships with Malawi before the performances.
The performances brought the best of Chinese acts that ranged from lion dance, pipa dance, acrobatics focusing on double bowls, folk song, acrobatics with a focus on crossings rings, rolling lamps, skills on the flowerbed, ballet, fun of ball ring and shaking rings by girls.
The country also decided to come out to show the best of its culture through Malawi National Dance troupe.
“We have liked the mentality and Chinese culture and values, today’s show, showed cultural exchange between Malawi and China. Malawi National Dance Troupe and our group from China worked together,” the Chinese Ambassador said.
Hongyang, who singled out Vimbuza, the spiritual dance as his favourite and ballet on the night, said the exchange programme will see Malawi also showing the traditional dances in China for Chinese people to learn more about the country’s culture.
This was a platform Malawi National Dance Troupe used to show the dances which have been inscribed on Unesco’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage and apart from Vimbuza, the others are Gule Wamkulu, Tchopa and Mwinoghe.
Minister of Civic Education, Culture and Community Development, Everton Chimulirenji, said he was overwhelmed with what happened during the Chinese New Year celebration.
“We have been entertained and educated and learnt something, China takes its culture seriously and as Malawi we also need to do the same,” Chimulirenji said.
He said the recent inscription of Mwinoghe on the Unesco’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage is a clear evidence that Unesco recognises Malawi’s culture and its traditional dances.
“It shows Malawi is going in the right direction. I, therefore, urge Malawians to emulate what China in promoting and preserving its culture,” he said.
Chimulirenji said one important area of cooperation between Malawi and China is the cultural exchange which was made some time back.
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