Chinese culture takes center stage at Spring Festival show in Riyadh

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The General Culture Authority has lined up several events to showcase the cultural identity of Saudi Arabia. (File/Reuters)
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Updated 12 May 2018

Chinese culture takes center stage at Spring Festival show in Riyadh

  • The live show was held at King Fahad Cultural Center in Riyadh

RIYADH: As the number of fascinating international cultural events taking place in Saudi Arabia continues to grow, one of the most notable so far was the Chinese Spring Festival — Foshan Dragon and Lion Dance and Martial Arts.

The live show was held at King Fahad Cultural Center in Riyadh on May 9, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture and the General Culture Authority (GCA). The Chinese ambassador to Saudi Arabia Li Huaxin and other Chinese diplomats attended the family-friendly event, along with Ahmed Al-Mazyad, CEO of the GCA.

Foshan is an ancient Chinese city famous for its rich culture and history. It is considered the birthplace of the South Lion dance, and the southern style of martial arts. Bruce Lee and Huang Feihong, two of the famous martial arts champions, were either born there or taught martial arts there. The city is also considered the home of Cantonese opera.

The show was divided into three chapters, one of which was a tribute to Bruce Lee’s martial arts prowess. The famous Foshan Lion Dance was also featured, accompanied by gongs, drums and cymbals.

Al-Mazyad said that the Chinese Spring Festival and similar events “will open the communities’ perception, to learn more about other cultures and accepting others.”

He added: “In the recent past we watched these events on television but today we get to see it in reality, and that is a great opportunity for the Saudi culture and community. Today we are representing our culture in other countries too.”

Ambassador Li said the show will also be staged in the eastern region of Saudi Arabia, in Dammam.

“This event is important to exchange the Chinese and Saudi culture and we thank the General Culture Authority and the Ministry of Culture for their support to have this opportunity,” he added. “There is a strong cultural exchange between Saudi Arabia and China, and Saudis will also travel to China and present folk and cultural dances. They actually have done it before and will do it again this year.

“These cultural events are very important to create cultural knowledge, traditions and a friendly relationship between the two countries. Both have a rich culture, traditions and history, and by introducing that it will create a strong relationship to serve the common interests of the two countries.”

Audience member Jack Chen, a telecoms manager from China, said: “Presenting Chinese culture in Saudi Arabia is a good thing. Saudi Arabia is opening up to other cultures more and more — this event is a good start for creating relations between the countries.”

In support of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, the GCA has launched plans for more than 5,000 cultural and leisure events, which began in April 2018, that are expected to make a significant contribution to the economy.

First pilgrims leave under Eyab initiative

Updated 18 August 2019

First pilgrims leave under Eyab initiative

  • Al-Amoudi toured the exhibition dedicated to welcome Eyab’s beneficiaries

Saudi Minister of Transport and Chairman of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA), Dr. Nabeel Al-Amoudi, oversaw the departure of the first 

group of pilgrims under the Eyab initiative on Saturday together with GACA President Abdulhadi bin Ahmed Al-Mansouri.

Eyab seeks to improve services provided to pilgrims, with the authority aiming to enrich pilgrims’ experience at the Kingdom’s airports. It is expected to benefit 30,000 pilgrims during this year’s Hajj season.

Al-Amoudi toured the exhibition dedicated to welcome Eyab’s beneficiaries, inspected the services available and received a briefing from the initiative’s officials.

GACA started an experimental implementation of Eyab this year, aimed at pilgrims returning to Indonesia, India and Malaysia through Jeddah’s King Abdul Aziz International Airport and Madinah’s Prince Mohammed bin Abdul Aziz Airport.