Shaanxi: Building New Cultural Bridges on Belt and Road

May 14, 2018  Editor: Liu Yanmei
Shaanxi: Building New Cultural Bridges on Belt and Road
The ritual performance Chang'an Impression -- Tang Dynasty Grand Welcoming Ceremony takes place within the city wall of Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, May 11, 2018. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

 

As the starting point of the ancient Silk Road and an active participant in the Belt and Road Initiative, Shaanxi province has launched a series of projects boosting local culture and tourism industry.

The province, widely known for its abundant historical heritages such as the world-famous Terracotta Warriors, plans to further promote its culture to both domestic and international visitors instead of resting on its laurels.

Minds and efforts are put into the urban design maximizing multiple cultural functions of Shaanxi's capital city Xi'an. Eye-catching cultural creative products and artistic events bring people closer to local history, a significant manifesto of traditional Chinese culture.

According to the 2017 Statistical Bulletin of Shaanxi Economical and Social Development released by Shaanxi Provincial Bureau of Statistics in March, the region's domestic and foreign tourist visit rose to 5.23 billion last year, up by 16.4 percent compared with 2016. Inbound tourist visit increased by 13.5 percent to 3.84 million in 2017, contributing a total of 17.12 billion yuan ($2.7 billion).

Getting creative in cultural products

At the 3rd Silk Road International Expo, a cultural creative products shop offers a variety of choices such as tea ware set, stationary, stuffed toy and Bluetooth speaker. All products draw inspiration from relics collected at local museums.

"I bought many fridge magnets and several key chains with Tang Dynasty court lady figurines," tourist Zhao Min said at the shop. "They are great gifts for friends and family - cultural symbols you can put in your pocket."

"The products we sell are both practical and entertaining. Some are also available online." A salesman said to customers.

Putting history on stage

Fully utilizing ancient architectural sites and the heritage of Tang Dynasty (618-907), Xi'an holds large-scale cultural performances which keep impressing tourist from around the globe.

Multimedia live-action show Chang'an Impression creates an immersive experience - visitors can walk along the old city wall of Chang'an watching traditional etiquette display. The show is by far the only state-level welcoming performance for guests in China.

Cultural province for the people

Abundant cultural resource calls for wiser development strategy. "Shaanxi has historical relics dating back a thousand years ago, which is both a strength and weakness," Northwest University professor Ma Lili said.

During recent years, the province has cooperated with cultural industry developer such as OCT, a Shenzhen-based enterprise in charge of the Happy Valley theme parks, and He Xiangning Art Museum, seeking ways to represent Shaanxi culture under contemporary context.

Panorama of Culture exhibition is one of OCT's latest projects in Xi'an. It provokes a wave of nostalgia by showcasing personal objects of modern artists – a pen from singer Johnathan Lee, a baton from composer Tan Dun. According to the expositor of OCT Space Xi'an, the project is now open for Shaanxi public. "We want to show the stories of ordinary people living here because these individuals make up the spirit of Shaanxi."

Cultivate talents among BRI countries

Educational institutions in Shaanxi continue to build communication platform for BRI countries. Taking Northwest Agriculture & Forestry University (NAFU) as an example, it initiated the "Silk Road Innovation Alliance for Agricultural Education and science" in 2016 and has collaborated with 59 universities and institutions from 12 nations.

By now, NAFU has trained 120 agricultural scientists and technicians from Central Asia, 900 from Africa, 500 from other regions. The university also sends specialists to countries, including Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt and South Africa, offering technical assistance.

Muhammad Saeed from Pakistan is about to get his doctorate in animal science at NAFU. He has published 9 papers on SCI journals and decided to pursue post-doctoral in the same field. "China has a leading edge on animal science. I can learn a lot here," Saeed said in fluent Chinese. "Through this scholarship program, all my tuition fees are covered. After graduation, I want to have an academic career right here in China."

In the future, Shaanxi aims at building a strong cultural industrial chain which fully integrates culture with tourism, education, business and social enterprises. "If we can build up the scale of local culture and tourism industries, they are going to serve as magnet attracting more people and resources to boost the economy of Shaanxi," Liu Dongmeng, vice-president of Xi'an Aiju Grain and Oil Industry Group, said.

 

Shaanxi: Building New Cultural Bridges on Belt and Road
The ritual performance Chang'an Impression -- Tang Dynasty Grand Welcoming Ceremony takes place within the city wall of Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, May 11, 2018. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Shaanxi: Building New Cultural Bridges on Belt and Road
Table furnishing of the Terracotta Warriors is on display at the 3rd Silk Road International Expo held in Xi'an, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, May 11, 2018. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Shaanxi: Building New Cultural Bridges on Belt and Road
PhD student from Pakistan (right) introduces the new irrigation system to reporters at the experimental field of Northwest Agriculture & Forestry University in Yangling, Northwest China's Shaanxi province, May 13, 2018. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

 

(Source: China Daily)

 

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