by Xinhua writer Chen Wenxian
JERUSALEM, June 21 (Xinhua) -- China's Weifang kite exhibition with the topic of "Fluttering Multi-colored Kites" and an interactive cultural activity were held at China Cultural Center in Tel Aviv on Thursday evening, attracting more than 100 Israelis.
Many different kinds of well-shaped and delicate kites were displayed on the exhibition, some of which with portraits of dragon, butterfly, birds, phoenix and mythological figures.
A fashion show was also staged during the event. As model girls from Israel wearing exquisitely-designed kite cloths came on the stage, audiences excitedly cheered and clapped.
The kites they were wearing were innovative cloths from Weifang, located in East China's Shandong Province. Weifang is famed as the home of kites. The city holds Weifang International Kite Festival every year since 1984, which attracts lots of kite fans from around the world.
Also during the event, Israeli people had the opportunities to make a kite by themselves with the help of kite artist Wang Yongxun from Weifang. Wang also works as the vice chairman of the Chinese Kite Flying Association.
The Israelis, old and young, actively participated in the interactive kite-making workshop. Using slim bamboo to make a framework, brush to paint paper and glue to stick them together, participants earnestly made their personalized kites.
Wang also gave a lecture for Israeli people about the origins and categories of Chinese kites and different techniques of making kites as well.
Wang said Shandong has a long history of kite flying and the invention of kites could date back to the "Spring and Autumn" period in China more than 2,000 years ago.
Nowadays, more than 300 kite manufacturers are operating in the city of Weifang. Their kites were marketed to more than 40 countries and regions.
Chinese people are very fond of flying kites and kites usually symbolize good wishes, said Duan Zhouwu, director of the Center of International Cultural Exchange of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China.
The event would help deepen the cultural ties between China and Israel, and push forward the aim of connecting countries with kites and strengthening friendship through flying kites, Duan said in an interview with Xinhua.
Shmuel Burshtein, an old Israeli man, told Xinhua that the event made him aware of the fascination of Chinese kites. Though Chinese kites have a long tradition, to him, they are new.
Burshtein added that Chinese traditional culture is rich and colorful and he expected to have chance to visit China.
Before the opening of the exhibition, the Chinese delegation on Thursday visited a primary school named Nofei Yam School located in Tel Aviv and presented students of the fourth grade with different kinds of Chinese kites and taught them how to make kites, which were warmly welcomed by students showing strong interests.