Welcome Remarks – “A Taste of the Eastern Hemisphere” Shenzhen Arts Company Concert

Former President of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Jintao, once said that “Culture is a window reflecting the history and spiritual world of a nation…cultural exchange is the bridge to enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between the people of both nations”.

Tonight, our visiting delegation from the renowned Shenzhen Arts Company of the Republic of China, will whisk us away on a culturally-enriching journey to the world of eastern oriental performances. The songs, dances, instrumental music, acrobatics, and magic show, will all captivate your minds and hearts, leaving lasting impressions of the culture of the Chinese people.

This event is a direct result of the continued partnership between the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Trinidad and Tobago. Since establishing diplomatic relations in 1974, both countries have sought to promote meaningful cultural exchange. Today, this exchange has extended to our business and technological sectors, and as well all know, Chinese cuisine has become a prominent choice in the culinary assortment of Trinidad and Tobago.

Within the first few hours of this event being advertised, almost immediately there were long lines forming outside this auditorium for tickets; a testament to the keen interest of our people in cultural exchange experiences.  Guests, I guarantee you that your cultural palates will be more than satisfied, and I encourage you to continue to patronise all of the Ministry’s events, which are offered mainly free of charge to the public.

Yesterday, we observed Republic Day, which signalled the end of National Patriotism Month. This period, which commenced at our launch on August 18th at the Government Campus, was dedicated to self-reflection and a recommitment to our nation’s core values. We held a series of activities fostering national pride, from heritage tours, to our two-day craft market, a panel discussion on our Trinbagonian identity, environmental-themed activities, and a special Folk Theatre festival showcasing the premier performances emerging from this year’s edition of our Best Village Folk Theatre Competition.

As a tribute to Patriotism Month, the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival featured local films throughout Republic Day, under the banner “Feature T+T.” I hope that you were able to attend one of these screenings and show your support to local film fraternity.

Ladies and gentlemen, tonight’s concert reflects our cultural diversity which is a core part of the Trinbagonian experience. I wish to thank the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, and the Shenzhen Arts Company for facilitating this event, and I do hope that you enjoy the rest of the evening’s presentations.  I also extend gratitude to the Ministry’s Culture Division; whose dedication to excellence plays a large role in making these cultural exchanges the success that they are. The visiting artists are always well cared and catered for, and they leave our shores with the clear understanding that ours is a welcoming, professional and accomodating country. Culture Division, we thank you.

Do enjoy the Shenzhen Arts Company, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant evening to you all.