Foreign and Military Affairs

Cultural bridge links China and Europe

Updated: 2011-03-07 22:11

By Zhang Chunyan (China Daily)

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Budapest, Hungary – A China-Hungary-Europe gala evening, in which both Chinese and Hungarian artists perform, has created a cultural bridge between China and Europe.

Cultural bridge links China and Europe
China’s Yunnan Province Arts Group and the Hungarian Havasi symphonic group co-performe a symphony named Cultural Bridge at a China-Hungary-Europe gala held in Budapest, Hungary. [Photo/] 

With the aim of promoting cultural dialogue between China and Europe, the gala was co-organized by the Chinese Embassy in Hungary and the Hungarian Talentis Group in Budapest late February.

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Ambassador to Hungary Gao Jian and Hungarian President Pál Schmitt both attended the gala.

The highlight of the gala came as China's Yunnan Province Arts Group and the Hungarian Havasi symphonic group co-performed a symphony named Cultural Bridge.

Havasi is one of the most popular piano composers in Europe, and he is also renowned for being the fastest pianist in the world.

According to the 35-year-old Hungarian, he composed the symphony that served as the musical symbol of the evening gala using authentic traditional Chinese and Hungarian folk music.

Wearing colourful costumes, dancers from Yunnan Province Arts Group accompanied the symphony with unique choreography which they had been preparing for months.

Havasi, who has felt a connection with China since he was a young boy, told China Daily: "My dear grandparents spent several years in China before I was born. Their stories about China helped to define my entire childhood."

"As a composer, my aim has always been to prove that music is one common language we all speak and understand, no matter where we are from. That is the reason why I created this musical project. With this, my dream comes true, and I know that my grandparents would be proud of me," Havasi said.

Yunnan Province Arts Group, known for its traditional Chinese music instruments and dancers, showcased Chinese minority dances and songs, as well as Chinese culture, which is thousands of years old.

The Havasi Symphonic Concert Show was also performed, and more than one hundred and fifty musicians participated.

The performance won applause from the audience. "This is an outstanding event; very, very nice. It is really what the name says, Cultural Bridge – it's a real bridge between two continents and two countries, with very different traditions and a different culture," Hungarian National Development Minister Tamas Fellegi told China Daily.

Fellegi added: "It is an excellent event, which shows very clearly that two countries can work together and can establish a very good relationship."

Gu Lei, a customer support service manager for Chinese company Huawei in Hungary, said: "The Chinese part of the gala is very colorful, it's rare to enjoy such an excellent national performance in a foreign country. Havasi's music is very shocking and wonderful."

Taking inspiration from a visit to Shanghai Expo 2010, the cultural gala was thought up and organized by Sándor Kenyeres, founder of the Talentis Group.

"I strongly believe that supporting culture creates the foundation for all true social development," said Kenyeres.

"It is very important for me to promote cultural communication between Hungary and China, because I believe this creates opportunities for our two nations to share a common culture and to promote mutual respect," he added.

Guests from all over the Central Eastern European region, such as the distinguished leaders of major Chinese businesses, diplomats, and the European and Hungarian business elite, attended the gala.

"I'm very proud to offer our culture and traditions in an art performance to Hungary. But the greatest honor is to be on the same stage as my Hungarian friends and, in so doing, work together to strengthen relations between our countries," said Tao Chun, leader of Yunnan Province Arts Group and director and choreographer of the Beijing Olympic Closing Ceremony.

Cultural exchange between China and Europe has been enhanced in recent years with the concerted efforts of both sides to become more active. They are seeing fruitful results.

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