xi's moments
Home | China-US

Embracing the charisma of China

Chinese embassy open house event 'Refreshing Fujian' event draws 5,000 guests

By YIFAN XU in Washington | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-05-09 09:25

Two visitors take selfies with panda mascots at the Chinese embassy open house event in Washington DC on Saturday. The embassy opened its doors to more than 5,000 guests as part of the Around the World Embassy Tour, a featured event of the Passport DC program organized by Events DC. YIFAN XU / CHINA DAILY

East China's Fujian province was in the spotlight over the weekend at the Chinese embassy's open house.

"Refreshing Fujian: Starting Point of the Maritime Silk Road" was featured at the embassy as part of the Around the World Embassy Tour of Washington DC.

More than 200 guests attended a VIP session, and over 5,000 local residents visited on a rainy day. The visitors experienced Fujian's hospitality and beauty and embraced China's charisma.

Following a promotional film titled The Mountains, Seas and Culture of Fujian, Jing Quan, the minister of the Chinese embassy, said that Fujian's story is not only one of an open, enterprising and beautiful China but also one of China-US friendship.

He said that last November, President Xi Jinping and US President Joe Biden agreed at their summit in California that the two countries would jointly promote people-to-people exchanges and support greater interactions.

"At the open house today, you will see the best of Chinese culture, have a bite of Chinese delicacies and witness a developing China," Jing said. "I wish you all a most pleasant and unforgettable experience."

Jiang Erxiong, the vice-governor of Fujian, said that Fujian is "an amazing land of beauties and blessings" on China's southeast coast and "China's only province with its name symbolizing happiness and fortune".

She detailed Fujian's geography, tourism resources, transportation and culinary culture. Jiang said that more than 100 years ago, American friends took refuge from the summer heat in Kuliang, a resort in Fuzhou.

Wei Dong, the mayor of Zhangzhou City in Fujian, said that more than 400 years ago, Chinese commodities such as porcelain and tea, were shipped from Zhangzhou's Yue Port to the United States and Europe.

Zhangzhou has increased its economic and trade cooperation and people-to-people exchanges with the US since the reform and opening-up. More than a decade ago, it established a sister city relationship with Honolulu, Hawaii. Approximately 30,000 people from Zhangzhou now reside in the US, where foods, home goods and guitars made in Zhangzhou are popular.

Artists from Fujian and Zhangzhou City presented cultural performances on the embassy stage. The opening dance, Golden Drums, combined big drums and parasols; the glove puppetry performance, Daming Prefecture, featured an excerpt from Water Margin, one of China's most beloved classic novels; and Fujian folk songs included leaf-blowing and dance such as Catching Butterflies While Picking Tea Leaves.

"Refreshing Fujian: Starting Point of the Maritime Silk Road" is featured as part of the Around the World Embassy Tour of Washington DC at the Chinese embassy in Washington DC over the past weekend. [Photo/Xinhua]

Performers concluded with A Land of Blessings, featuring folk music, dance and puppets.

Three visitors and their families won the grand prize of an all-inclusive, five-day trip to Zhangzhou City.

The guests in the VIP session included Scott Shaw, the deputy assistant secretary for China and Mongolia at the US Department of Commerce; Benjamin Sand, acting coordinator of the Office of China Coordination at the US State Department; Tyler Makepeace, deputy director of the Office of East Asia at the US Treasury Department; Zhang Wencai, managing director and World Bank Group chief administrative officer; Li Bo, deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund; and Kimberly Bassett, secretary of the District of Columbia. 

At the Fujian-themed culture and tourism booths, the guests steeped and tasted tea, learned to write Chinese characters, and tried floral headdresses and hanfu to experience the beauty and happiness of the ladies in Jingpu.

The guests also tasted refreshments from Fujian, such as maltose, mazao, red bean cakes and mung bean cakes and took photos with Wuyi Mountain as the background. 

Guests also were treated to lion dances and drum performances and took photos with giant panda puppets; visited a science and technology exhibition themed "45 Years of China-US Science and Technology Cooperation: Outcomes and Future Prospects", and watched the Tiangong space station through virtual reality.

Visitors also viewed nearly 100 pieces of Chinese painting, calligraphy, Suzhou embroidery and porcelains. Some guests spent time in parent-child activities such as coloring and paper-cutting.

Snacks included spicy beef slices, Sichuan cold noodles, spring rolls stuffed with three delicacies, and walnut cookies.

Lola Tamar, a visitor and a volunteer for the Around the World Embassy Tour, told China Daily of the event: "I absolutely love it. From the welcoming ceremony with the dance of the dragons to seeing the pandas, as well as the different rooms that we had the opportunity to view, and all of the beautiful Chinese architecture."

She also that she had learned some Chinese words, "Huanying lai Zhongguo (Welcome to China)".

Mark O'Connor, 53, said that he had "a wonderful time. People were so friendly and so nice, and I've learned a lot. It's been very informative. It's my first time, and it's a beautiful embassy," he said.

"I just got my name in calligraphy and people here. I enjoyed the music and just having some jasmine tea," he said. "I would definitely recommend it. … I've been to some other embassies, but this is the best."

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349