Songs and dances from ethnic groups in China's southwestern Yunnan province showcased China’s colorful minority cultures at a spectacle at the Palais des Nations on 3 October.
Over 1,200 UN staff, diplomats, and spectators from the Geneva local community walked into the Assembly Hall to enjoy the 90-minutes "Culture of China, Colorful Yunnan" cultural performance, presented by artists from the Song & Dance Ensemble of Yunnan’s Honghe Hani & Yi Nationality Autonomous Prefecture.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador LIU Zhenmin, Permanent Representative of China, described Yunnan as a colorful place, with colorful mountains and rivers, rich natural resources as well as diverse ethnic groups and cultures. He highlighted the unique customs, traditions, arts, and religions of different ethnic groups, which live in harmony and learn from each other, contributing to China's pluralistic culture.
He also drew attention to the great achievements in economic development of Yunnan since China’s central government initiated a national strategy to develop the western region in 2000. While enjoying the benefits of rapid economic growth, the ethnic minorities still retain their unique and colorful cultures thanks to the Chinese Government’s policies and efforts to protect their traditional cultures and ensure their equal rights. “I hope today’s event will open a window for you to look into the life of the people in Yunnan Province and the life of people all over China”, he said.
Ambassador Liu also dedicated the event to the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the Permanent Mission of China in Geneva and expressed his gratitude to all international organizations, all other permanent missions, and friends in Geneva and Switzerland for their long-time support for China’s multilateral diplomacy and the Chinese Mission.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva, delivered his bilingual remarks in Chinese and English. He thanked the Permanent Mission of China for bringing this true demonstration of diversity to the Palais des Nations and for sharing the magnificent culture of China, stressing that the United Nations highly appreciates the great efforts of the Chinese Government in promoting the unity and equity as well as economic development of China’s minority ethnic groups, which are regarded as the important contribution of China to maintaining the regional security.
Artists with Hani, Yi, Tibetan, Wa, Dai and other ethnic backgrounds treated the audience with original and unique ethnic songs and dances as well as colorful costumes.
The event was co-organized by the Permanent Mission of China, the United Nations Office at Geneva, Overseas Chinese Affairs Offices of Chinese State Council and Yunnan Provinces.
Yunnan Province, with a name literally meaning “south of the colorful clouds”, is home to 26 of China's 56 ethnic groups.