By Xuefei Chen Axelsson

Stockholm, June 22(CED) — Today June 22 marks the Chinese Duanwu Festival or Dragon Boat Festival. A grand celebration of the Chinese Duanwu Festival was held at the Chinese Cultural Center in Stockholm.

Chinese Ambassador to Sweden Cui Aimin and his wife Li Lihong attended the grand celebration and gave a speech.

“The Dragon Boat Festival is an important traditional Chinese festival which has two thousand years. It was a festival to commemorate our great poet and civil servant Quyuan. During this day, people will row a boat. Many people row a boat together, it needs coordination and people must act in concert.” said Ambassador Cui.

He meant that relations between countries are similar to row a boat together, man must use the strength in the same direction so that they can benefit from each other and row the boat towards the common destination.

A friend sitting beside me kept asking me where the boat is. I explained that Duanwu festival falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the year. It is a festival to celebrate the great poet Quyuan who actually committed suicide in Miluo River in ancient Chu Kingdom which is now in Hubei Province, central China. To commemorate him, people wrapped Zongzi, a kind of dumplings to throw them into the river in a good will to avoid his corpse was eaten up the fish. Meanwhile, people also invented the dragon boat festival to cheer up.

But today, the program are indoor and characterised by poems, singing and dancing performances without rowing the dragon boat.

Li Rui, newly arrived Cultural Counselor and director of the CCCS said that they prepared this event with poems reading and customs such as hanging the Ai plant on the door frame and a taste of Zongzi and tea. Meanwhile, they also put up many Peking Opera figure paintings to exhibit Chinese culture both on the ground floor and the floor underground. Above on the second floor, Chinese Window Photo exhibition about Chinese sceneries was held.

Chinese culture is also a culture that absorbs from other culture but not eliminates others(海纳百川). This is similar to Swedish culture that also allows other cultures to melt in.

During the performance, it was wonderful to hear the Swedish young man Elliot Frennstedt talked in Chinese while the Chinese young woman talked in English.

The programs include video performance of Chinese ancient musical instrument Bianzhong from 2000 years age, Guqing music from 3000 years ago.

Beautiful Kunqu, the most elegant melody in Chinese opera history was performed by Hao Jingxia. This part of the program is called a Surprising Dream which described the ancient beautiful but also miserable love story.

Chinese Taiji expressed its softness and healthy life style of the Chinese people. Many Swedish also learned from their Chinese teacher about Taiji.

Greek Dance group also performed the Greek dance to present their culture.

Polish women including Grazyna Piatek from Polska Folkdansgruppen performed a duel dance, Piastowie om dansen Krakowiak from South Poland and also told the audience about their clothes style which is very traditional, beautiful and romantic.

Dong Jiajun performed Hulusi instrument again.

Zhou Yuxi and Stephen Brawer read the Lisao lyrics in both Chinese and English while Shuangyan played the music of the Blossom Night on the Spring River with piano.

Swedish Folk song Kom lite Närmre och Det Finns En Väg were performed by Magnus Helmner and Robert Öberg.

In addition to performance, in the second floor, Swedish Hubei and Hunan Association also held their 10th anniversary of Duanwu festival with performance of making the Zongzi and other programs.

The event was hosted by CCCS with support from Swedish Hubei and Hunan Association which has held Duanwu Poem Festival for ten years.

By Chinaeuropenet

Xuefei Chen Axelsson is an independent media person. She has been a journalist for 30 years. She studied English, International politics, and sustainable development. She has been to Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and America, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and all the nordic countries including Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Britain. She is good at talking with all kinds of people and exchange ideas and serves as a bridge between China and the world.

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