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Colorful Guizhou wind blows to Paris

By Li Chunyan in Paris For China Daily | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-04-21 05:58

Young women dressed in the traditional attire of Guizhou ethnic minorities welcome guests attending the opening ceremony of the 2024 Colorful Guizhou Culture and Tourism Paris Promotion Week in Paris on Friday. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The opening ceremony of the Mountain Park Province · Colorful Guizhou Wind – 2024 Colorful Guizhou Culture and Tourism Paris Promotion Week was held in Paris, France on Friday.

Among the attendees were Lu Yongzheng, head of the Publicity Department of the CPC Guizhou Provincial Committee, Chen Li, minister counselor of the Chinese Embassy in France, Liu Hongge, director of the China Cultural Center in Paris, and Francesco Frangialli, honorary secretary-general of the World Tourism Organization.

Lu Yongzheng emphasized in his speech the precious historical relationship between China and France, especially as 2024 marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. He highlighted the increasingly close exchanges between Guizhou and France, expanding cooperation and more frequent people-to-people exchanges.

Lu also introduced Guizhou as a mountain park province, abundant in natural treasures, diverse cultures, and containing world-renowned architectural wonders such as Huangguoshu Waterfall, Libo Seven Small Arches (Xiaoqikong), Fanjing Mountain, the Yangming culture, world-class bridges, the world's largest radio telescope known as China's "eye of heaven" and more.

Despite their geographical separation, Lu said Guizhou and France share many similarities.

Both have numerous mountains and caves and are famous for their rich heritage of alcohol production. France is also a major tourist source and popular destination for Guizhou province.

Both Frangialli and Liu Hongge delivered speeches commending the tourism promotion activities of Guizhou in France. Frangialli mentioned that "every visit to Guizhou brings me a unique experience" and said, "Dear traveler friends, I believe it is time to go or return to China or Guizhou."

Jean Bottazzi, an internationally renowned cave explorer and representative of the French Federation of Speleology in China, shared his experience of more than 30 years in the scientific research of caves, and the development of cave exploration tourism in Guizhou.

"In 2007, I left my job in France to settle in Guizhou," he said, "I traveled throughout China, but Guizhou has remained my favorite land, with explorations in over 30 districts within this province alone."

Bottazzi also mentioned that Guizhou's natural resources are protected and valued, particularly through United Nations-recognized reserves and geoparks. He highlighted the enchanting allure of the mountains, the beauty of the local voices, and the joy of the dances.

Frank Desplanques, editor-in-chief of the program Rendezvous in an Unknown Landon national television channel France 2, talked about his experience filming in Guizhou for the first time in 2016 for a documentary about a Miao ethnic village.

"At every village we visited, we were greeted with extraordinary hospitality," he explained, "It was sometimes very difficult to leave because everyone wanted us to stay for a few more days."

"Not only us, but also French viewers who watched this program were captivated by the sincere smiles of the local Miao ethnic residents," he continued, adding that the journey had been "extraordinary, warm and very moving".

Photographer Gregoire de Gaule, the great nephew of the former French president Charles de Gaulle, has visited Guizhou multiple times on photography expeditions, and praised it as "a paradise for photographers with its beautiful landscapes and rich culture".

Robbie Bridgman, director of the National Geographic documentary Best of the World's Destinations: Guizhou, traveled from Australia to Paris to share his filming experience in Guizhou.

"Our expedition was nothing short of awe-inspiring," he said, "From mountains, caves, waterfalls, and ancient cities, we uncovered the hidden treasures that make Guizhou a true gem of China. We had the privilege of immersing ourselves in the rich history and vibrant culture of Guizhou."

At the event, the audience also enjoyed ethnic song and dance performances from Guizhou, including the song Waiting for You, which served as a friendly invitation to the French by the Miao, Dong and Shui ethnic minorities through their unique traditional styles, and a bilingual rendition of the French song L'hirondelle (Swallow).

In the modern hall and gallery of the cultural center, the audience also visited an exhibition entitled Guizhou: Best of the World's Destination including photographs of the region.

This promotional event will continue until April 26, during which there will be the same photo exhibition related to the National Geographic documentary, presentations on Guizhou travel routes and products, as well as tastings of Guizhou liquor and tea.

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