The Chinese are known for a lot of things, including their culture which they hold dearly and display through different ways.
On Tuesday evening, the visiting Chinese cultural troupe, Sichuan Province Song and Dance Theatre, showed how rich their culture is through an impressive traditional showcase at Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must) in Thyolo.
The ensemble had the patrons on their feet with their display of traditional dances, humorous acrobatics, group opera dances and kung hu displays which represents the wisdom of the Chinese nation and embodies traditional Chinese culture.
Their visit to Malawi is part of the celebrations of the Chinese New Year according to the Lunar Calendar during which they celebrate one of their oldest and most important cultural events, the Spring Festival.
In the audience was Chinese Deputy Ambassador Wang Xiusheng, Principal Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture Chancy Simwaka and Must vice-chancellor Professor Address Malata, among other dignitaries.
The performances, which delayed for more than 30 minutes according to the programme were opened by a Tibetan dance called Liuliu Kangding. Performed by girls showing exquisite dance moves, it gave a signal of what was in store for the evening.
But if anybody thought it was just going to be a laid-back evening for people to enjoy the smooth slow operas and flute performances, then they had it coming. On stage then came two middle-aged energetic men.
Elegantly dressed, they appeared on the stage with pomp to perform their song Hello Pandas, which had elements of hip-hop, much to the delight of the youthful audience which could not resist but jump on their feet as they tried to sing along.
Pandas are outstanding representatives of Sichuan which is a province of China renowned for its abundant cultural tourism resources famed for welcoming guests from all over the world.
There was time for acrobatic and magic displays whereby a K2000 note from a member of the audience was magically turned into a K20 note before it was reverted to its normal value.
In between the Chinese performances was a dose of local traditional dances performed by the ever-impressive Sambang’oma Dancers. They had the audience fired up with their strange antics such as doing frog jumps with drums tucked in between their legs.
In her remarks, Malata said they were proud to host the Chinese cultural troupe, considering that the institution was built using a Chinese loan:
“We have a good connection with the Chinese Government. The performances have enhanced the spirit that we are one people,” she said.
Wang chipped in: “If you go back to the history of this institution, you will appreciate why it was a must to have this performance here at Must.”
The Sichuan Province Song and Dance Theatre will be in the country for five days and the climax of their performances in the country will be today at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe.