African culture gains popularity ahead of summitÂ
BEIJING, Nov. 2 (Xinhua) — Traditional Chinese red lanterns and billboards featuring typical images of Africa. Posters proclaiming Sino-African “friendship, cooperation, development and peace” in English and French on major streets in downtown Beijing.
China’s capital has been dressed up in the run-up to a historic summit with leaders from more than 40 African countries slated for Nov. 4-5.
On the sideline of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, the Chinese government is also cranking up a campaign to promote African culture among citizens.
Two exhibitions opened here Thursday, one of coins and stamps from 48 African countries and the other of African handicraft, to showcase African landscapes, places of historical interest and relations with China.
“It’s a good opportunity for ordinary Chinese to have a glimpse of Africa,” said Cheng Hui, an avid collector who provided some of the handicraft pieces on show. “Many Africans are born to be artists. Even items from 2,000 years ago still make vogue artwork today.”
Johnson Weru from Kenya said the exhibition makes him feel at home and will help enhance friendship and understanding between the Africans and the Chinese.
Weeks ahead of the gathering, bulletins with customs and taboos of the remote continent were set up at parks and in communities to inform the people of the dos and don’ts when meeting African friends.
Local televisions, radios, newspapers and websites opened up special columns to discuss African culture and etiquettes, hoping Beijing would impress the African friends with good manners and hospitality during the high-profile international gathering.
The Beijing Evening News, one of the most popular metropolitan newspapers, has been publishing one story a day of African students and business people in China in recent weeks.