Chinese intangible cultural heritage debuts in Helsinki

Updated 2017-01-29 09:13:15 Xinhua

A group of Chinese artists have just completed their mission in Helsinki, giving performance to some 50 thousand visitors, most of whom were local Finns, as a celebration of the Chinese New Year.

The year of the Rooster was ushered in on Friday night, as the pedestrian street in central Helsinki shopping area was packed with visitors who came to enjoy the festivity.

Besides the dragon dance and the martial art, the Temple Fair featured quite a few Chinese intangible culture heritages ranging from paper cutting, straw plaiting, to Dragon-phoenix calligraphy and Taiping drum dance.

The performance of the Taiping drum dance marked the climax of the opening show, wining warm applause from the audience.

On the stage, the players dressed in colorful costumes were beating drums and dancing, demonstrating the thousand-year-old Chinese folk art to the Finnish audience and creating a lively festive atmosphere.

Zhou Mo, a performer from the Jingxi Taiping Drum Folk Art Troupe, told Xinhua that it was the first time for her to visit Finland, and she was so happy to be here.

"We hope that the jubilant Taiping dram dance could bring festive atmosphere to the sparsely populated country," Zhou said.

The booths, filled with of characteristics of Chinese traditional folklores, attracted Finnish people. Particularly, the performance of the dragon-phoenix calligraphy aroused great interests.

Yu Longjiang, deputy director of Beijing Shuimo Nianhua Painting and Calligraphy Studio, was showing the Chinese intangible cultural heritage to the Finnish people.

"I started to learn the art when I was 20 years old. I met my master by accident at that time. I fell in love with the art when I first observed it," said Yu.

He told Xinhua that he has practiced the dragon-phoenix calligraphy for nearly 20 years. Yu said it was not easy to inherit the cultural heritage.

"We are looking for apprentices, and maybe young people who would like to learn the art," he said, adding that they need a platform to inherit the cultural heritage.

A Finnish mother who gave her name as Melissa brought her 8-year-old daughter to take part in the celebration. The mother told Xinhua that they were from Turku, about 150 kilometers from Helsinki.

Melissa said her daughter could have a chance to get some knowledge of the Chinese traditional culture. "It's exciting. I want to come again next year," said the daughter.

There are special programs every year for the Chinese New Year celebration in Helsinki, said Helsinki mayor Jussi Pajunen.

Having introducing Chinese intangible cultural heritage into this year's event, "because this is a Chinese New Year, the program must be with Chinese heritage about Chinese tradition," Pajunen explained.

He added that there must be something Finnish also, as it organizes the event with a real sign of the Finnish collaboration.

A Chinese performer acting as the Moomi, a major character of the Finnish cartoon story, sang the theme song in Chinese language. The performance struck a responsive chord among the audience, who grew up accompanied by the character.

Pajunen estimated that more than 50,000 people participated in the celebration.

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