Feature: Chinese artists impress Egyptian audience at Cairo int'l drum festival

Source: Xinhua| 2019-04-28 10:53:45|Editor: zh
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by Ahmed Sahfiq, Zhu Yingqi

CAIRO, April 27 (Xinhua) -- A drum show performed by Chinese artists impressed thousands of Egyptians Saturday night at the closing day of the 7th International Festival for Drums and Traditional Arts held in Cairo, Egypt.

The performance, presented by China's Kaifeng Pangu Drum Art Troupe, drew praises from many among the audience.

"It is amazing and breathtaking ... the artists performed in a great harmony," Aya Hossam, a 19-year-old colleague student, told Xinhua after the show.

Having enjoyed the show with her family, she said she is more acquinted with Arab and Western drum performances, and the Chinese beats sounded lively and unique.

The week-long festival, which aims to promote cross-culture dialogue, opened on April 20, and was sponsored by the Egyptian Culture Ministry and other related departments. Africa was the guest of honor of this year's edition.

With a message of "Drums Dialogue for Peace," the festival brings together musicians from 22 countries to share their musical vision and encourage cultural dialogue.

Matching with the festival's atmosphere, its events took place at various and unique venues such as historic Saladin Citadel, al-Ghoury's Dome, renowned al-Moeez Street and al-Hanger Theater of Cairo Opera House.

"The Chinese performance is captivating. It is well organized and the beats really moved me," Hisham Ahmed, a middle-aged man who enjoyed the show with his wife, told Xinhua.

Ahmed, an accountant who also plays the guitar, said he previously watched videos of Chinese drum bands performing during national events in China.

"This is my first time to watch such a great show live ... the performance for a while took me to China," he said with a smile.

Since the upgrading of relations between China and Egypt to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2014, the two sides have seen frequent exchanges between their art groups. Both countries also hope to boost friendly ties through the Belt and Road Initiative.

Proposed by China in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aiming at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe, Africa and beyond through the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.

Shi Yuewen, Cultural Counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Egypt, said the interaction between countries is based on people-to-people communication, stressing that it is essential to provide more opportunities in this regard.

He added that China's participation is significant because it opens a window for peoples of other parts of the world to learn more about traditional Chinese culture.

Meanwhile, Ding Weiwei, head of the Kaifeng Culture Center of China's Henan Province, said Kaifeng Pangu is a national intangible cultural heritage with a long history of more than 1,000 years.

"During the festival, the band members have felt the enthusiasm of the Egyptian people, exchanged skills and art experience with drum bands from other countries, and showed traditional Chinese music and culture to the foreign audience," she said.

For his part, Liu Zhen, director of the performance, said the band members are very proud of bringing Pangu from China to a country with an ancient civilization like Egypt.

"A drum is the instrument that can strike your heart most. The ancient Chinese drum culture came to Egypt and collided with the Egyptian drum culture. It is very exciting, which also highlights friendship between the two countries," he added.