The China Cultural Centre in Wellington and the Chinese Gansu Intangible Cultural Heritage Group held ‘Chinese Tourism and Culture Week – Tea and the World’ events in Christchurch on 12 and 13 May, presented by a delegation from Christchurch’s sister city of Gansu Province.
The 12 May function was held at the Te Hapua: Halswell Centre, and was hosted by the Christchurch China Sister Cities Committee. Michelle MacWilliam, chair of the committee warmly welcomed the Gansu visitors. This was followed by a demonstration of tea making, and several cultural performances.
On Saturday 13 May at the Rewi Alley Chinese School, a further event was held, which was supported by the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Christchurch.
This event provided an opportunity to experience Chinese tea culture and Gansu local art through a tea ceremony demonstration, showcasing the techniques and stages of this art form. Guests also had the chance to interact with tea art experts, Guqin, dance, vocal music, and suona performance and intangible cultural heritage craftsmen from Gansu Province. These artists provided knowledge and valuable insights into Chinese tea culture and Gansu culture and art.
Christchurch branch members were invited to attend the Saturday morning function, and a very enjoyable morning it proved to be. It began with the showing of a very colourful and impressive video of Gansu. There were then speeches by Mr Lu Xinglai (Paul) Deputy Director General of the Gansu Cultural and Tourism Department and Consul General Madame He Ying, and a talk about the culture and history of tea in Gansu.
This was followed by a very interesting tea ceremony (who would have thought making tea could be so complex??). Attendees were then invited to taste the different teas.
Everyone then went out into the sunshine and enjoyed very pleasant cultural performances of singing and dancing.
One of the very happy outcomes of the function was for branch member Dave Adamson to meet up again with Paul (Lu Xinglai), whom he knew well for many years when Paul was working for the Gansu Foreign Affairs Office.
It was also a happy occasion when Dave and Carol met up again with Lijun, who was here with the delegation. They had home hosted her over 10 years ago, when she came to Christchurch to study at the local polytech; it was just like old times!