SAN FRANCISCO, March 31 (Xinhua) -- U.S. local government officials said Sunday the celebrating Chinese cultural events can shorten distance and foster more exchanges between Chinese and Americans.
Newell Arnerich, deputy mayor of the Town of Danville in Contra Costa County, California, who attended for the first time an annual worship ceremony for Yellow Emperor, said the event builds a bridge for the American and Chinese people to better understand and communicate with each other.
Thousands of overseas Chinese in this western U.S. city Sunday held an annual grand ceremony to pay tribute to Yellow Emperor, who is considered as one of the common ancestors for all Chinese, in an effort to better integrate the Chinese heritage into the diversified American culture.
The Fourth Overseas Worship Ceremony for Yellow Emperor kicked off at the Civic Center in downtown San Francisco, starting with a drum performance and lion dancing.
"I believe it's people-to-people to make a difference ... the fact is California and China specifically are two of the largest trading partners in the world," Arnerich said.
"California is open to China, and I know China is open to California as well," he said.
"We owe it to ourselves, one person, one business, one city at a time, to build those bridges, not only for cultural reasons but for business reasons," Arnerich added.
John Marchand, mayor of Livermore city in Alameda County, California, said the ceremony brought the Chinese and American people closer together.
"We can celebrate our cultures, celebrate humanity and the heritage that we bring together," he said.
David Haubert, mayor of Dublin city in East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area, said, "I think it's very good that we build a bridge between China and America. It's the number one strongest bridge in the world and must stay that way. So celebrating today like this helps build a strong bridge."
Sunday's ceremony underlined the theme of "Same Root, Same Ancestor, Same Origin, Peace, Amity and Harmony."
Representatives of Californian government officials, the state assembly, mayors and deputy mayors of the state's local governments, leaders of the Chinese American community in San Francisco, various local Chinese cultural organizations and students attended the event.