The 2017 Chinese year of the Rooster, whose first day will fall on January 28, was celebrated in Malawi on Wednesday January11 in Lilongwe.
The Chinese Embassy invited a cross-section of people including government officials, business community and members of the Chinese community in the country.
The event was filled with cultural performances which left people glued to their seats at the Bingu International Convention Centre (BICC) auditorium.
The stage was opened by a group of close to 20 people who danced to Chinese music as they skilfully waved in unison. The performers were, as per the Chinese tradition, welcoming the New Year with smiles and joy.
Yu Da came on stage with his team and performed changing faces in a dance that depicted a Chinese ancient culture where, when faced with a ferocious beast the ancient people would draw different patterns on their faces to scare away the beast. Yu Da changed his facial pattern so skilfully and swiftly so much that people wondered how he did it.
Pipa Solo which is a wild dance of the Golden Snake was also performed. The performance has an inspiring melody and over flowing enthusiasms provided a joyful atmosphere and rich Chinese characters such as the snake. The performers did Give Me a Rose, a song which gives a lively and expresses young Chinese people’s faith, and dedication in pursuit of love.
Although it was a predominantly a Chinese cultural event, their Malawian counterparts did not just watch theNational Cultural Dance Troupe perform mwinoghe, a dance of Basukwa people of Chitipa. The dance troupe also did tchopa, a war dance of Lhomwe people of Thyolo, Phalombe and Mulanje districts of southern Malawi.
The Chinese dances fused their performances with Chinese and foreign cultures as evidenced by a female soloist, Liu Yuanyuan, who performed, ‘Thank you my friend’ a song selected from Verdi’s Opera, the Sicilian Verspers. Dressed in a long glittering Chinese dress, Liu sang with a piercing voice, mesmerising the patrons who had no choice but to clap hands in applause.
They also brought on stage Classic Medley of classical songs very well-known from across the world. The medley comprised of a British folk, Scarborough Fair, Largo al factotum from The Barber of Seville and My Sun which is an Italian folk song and Yu Da sang it in a Luciano Pavarotti style where, if one was listening with eyes closed, would hardly notice the difference in the voice.
First Lady Gertrude Mutharika, who was the guest of honour, thanked the Chinese government for the cultural exchange programmes in which the event fitted quite well.
Chinese Ambassador Shi Ting Wang said his country is committed to ensuring that the nine- year- old bilateral relationship between Malawi and China benefits both countries as evidenced by numerous development projects that his country has financed as grants or loans. He also cited the numerous Malawians’ sponsored visits to China. n