Beijing City in China this week came to life during the first ever Asian-African Festival attended by more than 500 participants.
The fete is a celebration of life in the two continents that blends tradition with modernity, marking the youth’s contribution to the common pool of the world’s culture.
The five-day fun-filled and multi-faceted fete incorporated lively celebration of the richness of African and Asian cultures through a range of activities from Kung Fu martial arts, comedy, cuisine, dance, exhibitions, literature, music, theatre and sports.
Besides live music shows, the full impact was experienced on Saturday night during a gala show where there were short films screenings, fashion shows and networking events.
Chinese organizers said the festival was also a huge boon to the city’s business community.
The festival gave guests a rare opportunity to meet and learn from each other and keep their traditions alive.
Donned in the unmistakable maasai shuka, Kenyan youths are among those that showcased their country as a beach holiday destination, historical and cultural heritage and as a cruise tourism destination, a reputation that has captivated the world for centuries.
“This particular festival showcases communities’ cultures and creativity and is the cornerstone of economic development strategies to attract more tourists. Beijing is a melting point of the world’s culture,” said Ms Xueyi Wang, one of the Chinese-English translators.
Ms Wang said the festival marked an important aspect of Asia’s relations with Africa.
Mr Axel Jesson, a presidential advisor of Gabonese Republic explained that being his first time in China, the event had helped to foster cultural exchange.
“Participating in the first Asian-African festival is an opportunity to serve as an ambassador for fellow Gabonese. Apart from the entertainment, it has really helped me realise myself and know the right path I should follow as far as world peace is concerned,” he said.
Representatives from Gabon entertained guests with a fusion of traditional West African marriage songs intertwined with a modern edge to musical styles that have existed for generations in their country.
Other performances were by representatives from Nigeria, Togo, Pakistan, India, China and Japan.
Amidst the fun and music, the festival also provided a platform to hold discussions on the topic of Chinese economy.
Source: The Nation.