Tuesday, November 10, 2015

The first Catalan culture week in Shanghai closes with great success of participation


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The “Barcelona Catalonia Culture Week "held in the Chinese city counted with the support of the Government of Catalonia and DIPLOCAT

This initiative organized by the Catalan Institute of China took place from 1 to 7 November in Shanghai. The program coincided with the 10th anniversary of the Catalan association Casal Catalan of the Chinese city and the 15th anniversary of the town twinning of the cities of Barcelona and Shanghai. The Catalan culture week in Shanghai has brought together more than 73,000 people. The Chinese diaspora is with more than 50,000 people the largest Asian community in Catalonia.

The Casal Catalan Shanghai

The Chinese city of Shanghai hosted from the 1 to 7 November the first Catalan culture week ('Barcelona Catalonia Culture Week'). This initiative was led by the Catalan Institute of China and had the institutional support of the Generalitat de Catalunya and the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT).

The Catalan Institute of China, a Catalan community abroad officially recognized by the government, proposed this cultural program in order to promote Catalan culture at international level and make it accessible to the Chinese public. This is an example of the added value of activities which Catalan civil society communities abroad organise on a regular basis. This cultural initiative in particular was supported by both public and private entities and gathered more than 73,000 people.

At the institutional ceremony, which took place on Friday as part of the cultural programme, and which brought together government officials of the Municipality of Shanghai and the Government of Catalunya, the origins of the initiative, the 10th anniversary of the Catalan association Casal Catalan of the Chinese city and the 15th anniversary of the town twinning of the cities of Barcelona and Shanghai, were emphasized. During the ceremony, Kolja Bienert, Project Manager of the Public Diplomacy Council of Catalonia (DIPLOCAT), spoke on behalf of this organization and the Catalan Government to thank the promoters of the 'Barcelona Catalonia Culture Week' for their effort to bring Catalan culture to China with such a range of activities and high level variety. In the presence of local political authorities and representatives from academic, business and diplomatic service, Bienert recalled the relationship between Catalonia and different Chinese regions such as Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang, in addition to the town twinning of Barcelona with Shanghai and Hong Kong, among others. Bienert also referred to the attractiveness of Catalonia both from a business - as well as a creative and tourism point of view, and mentioned the 50,000 Chinese living in Catalonia as the largest Asian community.

The President of the Catalan Institute of China, Alexis Roig, emphasized that "this initiative that places Catalonia within the Chinese imagination is the result of having been able to join forces with civil society, business and Catalan institutions; a sign that when we act together, we can achieve great milestones". The influx of people was massive, the attendance has exceeded our best expectations," added Roig.

The “Barcelona Catalonia Culture Week”

In the last few days, an unprecedented transversal programme was presented in collaboration with Catalan cultural institutions, such as, among others, 200 members of the human towers group Castellers de Vilafranca, who acted jointly with the Chinese group Xiquets de Haugzhou, innovative exhibitions on Miró, Salvador Dalí, Antoni Gaudi and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation – which can be visited during the next 3 months - gastronomic activities by the chef Jordi Servalls, or places for cultural exchange highlighting the innovative nature of Catalonia. The quality of this program has been endorsed by the attending public, which - pending the closing of the planned cultural exhibitions next January - amounted to more than 70,000 visitors of the more than thirty cultural activities scheduled during this week.

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