From left: Ajith Abeysekera of the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka, Liu Dong of China Cultural Affairs, Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs Ministry Senior Assistant Secretary Tharani Anoja Gamage, China Cultural Center in Sri Lanka Director Liwen Yue and Wimal Ranawaka of Head of the Division Sarasavi Studio
– Pic by Ruwan Walpola
As China and Sri Lanka mark a milestone in longstanding diplomatic relations, an array of events have been organised to celebrate the Chinese New Year.
The events organised by the Chinese cultural centre in Sri Lanka in collaboration with Sri Lankan artists includes concert by symphony concert by China National Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka and a number of other cultural performances.
Year 2017 is of significance to both countries as it marks the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations and 65th anniversary of the signing of the Rice and Rubber Pact between China and Sri Lanka.
Centuries of friendship
China and Sri Lanka are close neighbours and partners enjoying centuries of friendship. In the past six decades, no matter what changes took place in the international landscape or their respective domestic agendas, with the concerted efforts of both sides, our relations have witnessed a dynamic and healthy development. The mutually-beneficial cooperation in various fields has delivered tangible benefits to our two peoples.
In Chinese culture, 60 years mean one Jiazi, a measurement of Chinese lunar calendar, circulating every 60 years. Every circulation represents new beginning. In the next 60 years, China-Sri Lanka relations will be definitely lifted to a new historic height. Therefore, the Happy Chinese New Year this year is special, not only to celebrate the Chinese New Year, but also to celebrate the bilateral historic moments.
The event one of the oldest festivals in China, also called the Spring Festival, dates back 4,000 years. It is the most important one for the Chinese people, bearing the richest culture and tradition.
President Maithripala Sirisena has issued a Chinese New Year message to the Chinese people, which has been accepted as a great honour.
The Embassy will collaborate with Sri Lanka institutions and coordinate China Cultural Center in Sri Lanka to organise a number of events to celebrate the Chinese New Year and the anniversaries. The events include a symphony concert by China National Symphony Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka and supported by BMICH and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chinese Cultural Fair with the support of Urban Development Authority, co-organised by the Embassy and China Cultural Center and Oversees Chinese Association in Sri Lanka, featuring performance, Chinese food and lantern exhibition, cultural performance by Jiangsu performance troupe supported by Ministry of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs and organised by China Cultural Centre and the second Chinese Film Festival organised by the Embassy and the National Film Corporation.
China-Sri Lanka 60th Anniversary Diplomatic Relations Concert
The China-Sri Lanka 60th Anniversary Diplomatic Relations Concert will be held at the BMICH Conference Hall at 6:30 p.m. on 6 February, the eve of the anniversary date six decades ago back to 1957. President Maithripala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga along with a number of ministers have agreed to attend the concert.
The highlight of the concert is that it is a collaboration of Chinese and Sri Lankan artists, featuring 40 musicians from the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka and 60 musicians from the China National Symphony Orchestra. The program includes a Sri Lankan music ‘Kuveni Asne’ by composer Ravibandhu Vidyapathy and a Chinese music ‘Farewell my Concubine’ featuring Peking opera. It is being held at the BMICH to symbolise the long friendship between China and Sri Lanka.
Chinese Cultural Fair
The Chinese Cultural Fair will be held at Arcade Independence Square from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. from 8 to 12 February. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya has agreed to grace the event as Chief Guest. It is open to the public free of charge.
The highlight of the fair is a lantern exhibition. The lanterns are made by Haitian Lantern Company. These lanterns featuring Chinese Zodiac, Chinese figures with traditional costumes and pandas will light up the Arcade Independence Square. There is also a special interaction area for kids to paint and make their own lanterns and take them home.
It also includes a cultural performance from Inner Mongolia and five food stalls serving Chinese food made by local Chinese restaurants organised by the Overseas Chinese Association and one stall for Chinese cultural items.
Jiangsu performance troupe
The performance featuring dancing, singing, magic, wushu and acrobatics will bring joy and laughter. With the support of Ministry of Internal Affairs, Wayamba Development and Cultural Affairs, the troupe will tour Matara at University of Ruhuna on 13 February 2017, Hambantota District at International Convention Center on 14 February and Colombo at Nelum Pokuna Theatre on 16 February.
2nd Chinese Film Festival
The 2nd Chinese Film Festival will be held at the National Film Corporation of Sri Lanka from 16 to 21 February. The opening ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. on 15 February. It is open to the public free of charge from 16 February.
Eight films including ‘Go Away Mr. Tumour,’ ‘Xu Zang,’ ‘Book of Love,’ ‘Monkey King: Hero is Back to the Fore,’ ‘Monster Hunt,’ ‘Song of Phoenix’ and the ‘Taking of Tiger Mountain’ will be screened. All of them are new movies produced in the past two years. It will cover various fields such as cultural inheriting, youth, love, self-encouragement, martial arts, Buddhism.
60th anniversary logo
With the help of Essence BT, the Embassy has created a logo to highlight the long friendship and a video to give a better understanding of its meaning. The logo is like Chinese traditional folk art – paper-cutting showing Chinese cultural elements and Sri Lankan cultural elements and the symbol of friendship between the two countries.