Yangon, 30 September, 2023 (GNP): On the evening of the 28th, the eve of China’s Mid-Autumn Festival, the 2023 “Full Moon and Blooming Flowers” International Mid-Autumn Festival Gala, hosted by the Yunnan Provincial People’s Government Information Office and the Yunnan Provincial People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, was staged in Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar.
More than 50 artists from China and Myanmar joined hands with exquisite performance to showcase the rich traditional cultures of both countries with a long history and to interpret the thousand-year-old “Bao Bo” (translated from Burmese, meaning brotherly and fraternal) friendship.
Inside the Oriental Palace in Yangon, which exudes a strong Chinese flavor, the heartwarming dance Bands of Colored Clouds Pursuing the Moon opened the performance, immediately portraying a beautiful scene of “Moonlight bathes the world in grace, reunions embraces us with health”.
Representatives from various sectors in Myanmar and a delegation from Yunnan, China, totaling over a thousand guests, gathered merrily. This International Mid-Autumn Festival Gala is the highlight of the 2023 “Full Moon and Blooming Flowers” Mid-Autumn cultural exchange activities in Myanmar. It is also the first large-scale cultural and artistic event held by China in Myanmar after the COVID-19 pandemic.
China and Myanmar are connected by mountains and rivers, and the friendly exchanges between the two peoples have spanned thousands of years without interruption. Yunnan shares a border with Myanmar and serves as an important gateway between the two countries. Over the years, we have seen frequent economic, cultural, and civil exchanges between the two nations.
“As the moon rose, casting a shimmering glow, memories of my dearest love in remote mountains came flooding back.” When the melodious notes of A Delicate River Flows, an “Eastern serenade”, filled the air, Chinese dancers gracefully took the stage, instantly capturing the attention of the entire spectators at present.
The song narrated a poignant love story from the “Caravan Culture” of Yunnan. Yunnan caravans had been trading and communicating with Myanmar along the ancient southwestern Silk Road for centuries.”
“I reside at the headwaters of the river, while you dwell at its tail. Our affection for each other knows no bounds, as we drink from the same band of river.” This song, The Friendship Watered by One River, is adapted from the poem To My Burmese Friends composed by Chen Yi, who was the then Vice Premier of the State Council of China during his visit to Myanmar in 1956. It praises the enduring friendship between China and Myanmar, symbolizing it as a river that flows in a permanent continuity.
In this performance, The Friendship Watered by One River was rearranged, and under the collaborative interpretation of Chinese and Burmese artists, the melodious song resonated in the auditorium, prompting many audience members to spontaneously join in singing along.
During the Gala, artists from both countries presented captivating array of performances that especially showcased the rich cultural heritage of Myanmar. These included Myanmar’s treasured dance, Puppet Dance, as well as dances like Mingalaba (meaning “hello” in Burmese), and musical renditions such as Where the Bamboo Grove’s Secrets Unfold played on cucurbit flute, and Flowers from Mandalay performed on ethnic instruments like the oboe. The program also featured the Burmese dance titled The Story of Love’s First Gale, all of which were infused with the distinctive cultural flavors of both nations, creating a series of exhilarating moments that enthralled the audience.
A particularly attention-grasping highlight of the event was a short film titled I, Restoring Pagodas in Myanmar. This film recounts the touching story of a Chinese expert team working on the restoration of the earthquake-damaged Thatbyinnyu Phaya Pagoda in Bagan, known as the “City of Ten Thousand Pagodas.” It also sheds light on the blossoming friendship between China and Myanmar that grew during the years-long cultural heritage preservation mission.
The 2023 “Full Moon and Blooming Flowers” Mid-Autumn cultural exchange activities in Myanmar took place from September 25th to October 1st, with events held in various locations across Myanmar. The series includes the “Many-Splendored Yunnan Life“ photo exhibition, the 2023 “Full Moon and Blooming Flowers” International Mid-Autumn Festival Gala (Yangon and Mandalay Session), and the 2023 “Full Moon and Blooming Flowers” International Mid-Autumn Cultural Arts Celebration (Made Island Session).
Events are managed aiming at sending warm Mid-Autumn Festival wishes to the people of Myanmar and the overseas Chinese community, promoting traditional “Bao Bo” friendship as well as the comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Myanmar, enhancing cultural exchanges and interactions between Yunnan and countries in South and Southeast Asia. (The End)