From Chinese caligraphy, dragon and lion dances, to annual Chinese New Year galas and popular Chinese language courses... for the Portuguese, to have a bite of Chinese culture in home country can never be easier due to increasing cultural exchange events between both countries in recent years.
The annual cultural event entitled the Cultural Market in the Candlelight opened recently in Lagoa city, some 270 km southeast of Portuguese capital Lisbon is the latest of the multiple events held since the beginning of this year.
China was invited as the main guest country to attend the event with the theme of Silk Road. The four-day event featured display of Chinese traditional musical instruments as well as the performance of Chinese papercut, caligraphy and dragon and lion dances.
Mayor of Lagoa Francisco Martins said that China and Portugal enjoy long time friendship, noting that China is also the origin of the Silk Road. The Cultural Market in the Candlelight will further promote the understanding of the Portuguese people on the Chinese culture, he added.
Since the beginning of this year a series of cultural exchange events have been held in both Portugal and China. The first Luso-China Literature Forum was held in the Macau Science and Culture Center in Lisbon. Well known writers of both countries exchanged their views on literature, society and accommodation.
On June 25, the China Day was held during the 30th Lisbon International Handicraft Fair to help the Portuguese people learn more about the exquisite traditional Chinese handicraft.
During the celebration of the year of Rooster, the lunar new year of China that fell on Jan. 28, a huge rooster, the symbol of Portugal, created by famous Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, was ferried to China from Lisbon to congratulate the Chinese with new year greetings.
On Jan. 21, the new year gala was held in downtown Lisbon with the participation of both Chinese and Portuguese performers including those from a high school of Macau. It was the fourth consecutive year for the event to be held and the the gala has become a brand program for the new year celebration.
According to officials, China and Portugal signed an accord on establishment of culture centers in each other's countries last year.
Counselor for Culture of Chinese Embassy in Portugal Shu Jianping said China is preparing for the construction of the China Culture Center in Lisbon, which is expected to be completed by the end of next year.
Amid frequent cultural exchanges between Portugal and China, Chinese language learning has been increasingly popular in Portugal in recent years. Chinese language courses are offered at Portuguese universities, high schools and primary schools. Chinese is also taught in the four Confucius institutes and one confucius classroom in Portugal.