Chinese dancers perform during the "Happy Chinese New Year" gala in Kigali, Rwanda, on Feb. 9, 2018. Featuring the regional characteristics of Gansu and Chinese cultural elements, the gala consisted of Chinese operas including Chinese national intangible cultural heritage the Long Opera, songs, dances, acrobatics and folk music. (Xinhua/Lyu Tianran)
KIGALI, Feb. 9 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese art group on Friday staged an art performance in Rwanda's capital city Kigali, sending Chinese New Year wishes to Rwandan people and overseas Chinese.
The evening gala was held at one of Rwanda's landmark buildings Kigali Convention Center.
Under the framework of the "Happy Chinese New Year" program, the gala was presented by a Long Opera troupe and an acrobatic troupe from Western China's Gansu Province.
Featuring the regional characteristics of Gansu and Chinese cultural elements, it consisted of Chinese operas including Chinese national intangible cultural heritage the Long Opera, songs, dances, acrobatics and folk music.
Over 1,500 people attended the gala.
The Chinese art and culture are quite breathtaking and unique said Jean Marie Iyamuremye, a university student who watched the performance.
"I enjoyed the whole performance at the event. It was so exciting and thrilling," he said, adding that some programs are "so impressive and extraordinary."
Another audience Josiane Umutesi said she was thrilled by the dances, song and acrobatics.
"I enjoyed the Chinese New Year celebration. I wish the Rwandan government and the Chinese government could always organize this kind of event," the student said.
The Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is the most important traditional festival for people of Chinese origin, featuring family reunions, feasts and performances.
The year 2018 will be the Year of the Dog, which will begin on Feb. 16, according to the Chinese lunar calendar.
The "Happy Chinese New Year" gala is presented in Rwanda for the third consecutive time and provides an important platform for the cultural cooperation and interaction between China and Rwanda, said Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda Rao Hongwei at the gala.
Gansu province is known as one of the key cradles of Chinese civilization, a "golden section" and hub on the Silk Road, and a place where the four civilizations of China, India, Greece and Islam converge, the ambassador introduced the Chinese province to the audience.
It is an honor for the government of Rwanda not only to co-host the event, but to share and celebrate the cultural ties strengthening the friendship existing between Rwanda and China, said Julienne Uwacu, Minister of Sports and Culture of Rwanda, at the event.
"We strongly support and commend all efforts and initiatives made in regards to cementing cultural ties between our two countries," she added.
The art group is scheduled to perform in Tanzania and Mauritius as well.
The "Happy Chinese New Year" celebrations were launched as a project in 2010 to have people in different parts of the world to share the joy and grand celebration with the Chinese people and learn about the Chinese culture.