Dienstag, 29. Januar 2019

Chinese New Year Celebrations in Berlin 2019

Chinese New Year Celebrations in Berlin 2019

Text Lily Fürstenow

The Chinese New year Celebrations in Potsdamer Platz Arkaden fascinated the public with spectacular dances, refined costumes, martial arts performances and an impressive dragon dance with fireworks introducing the new year celebrations. According to the Chinese calender this year – the year of pig – promises prosperity, rich revenues, good luck in business and all sorts of wellbeing. The Chinese, who consider this as the most important festivity of the year, dedicate this event several days of celebrations. New Year is also the festivity to celebrate the beginning of spring and the peasants start with farming right after the festivities are over. 

The new year celebration events in the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden were organised by the Chinese Cultural Center Berlin and by the Forum Neue Seidenstrasse. The performances and concerts were free for everyone to attend – an exceptional gesture of generosity and openness on the part of the organisers. No tickets or guest lists were required. The tradition of celebration of new year with a arts and crafts fair, a whole set of live performances, singing and dancing has already a 10-year tradition in Berlin. Exceptional quality of arts and crafts goods together with the talented artists presenting and explaining the process of working offered the guests a unique possibility to learn more about the centuries-old traditions of Chinese jewellery makers, woodwork as well as paper cutting and embroidery. 

The singing and dancing ensemble of Hubei Province offered Berliners an unforgettable singing and dancing programme. The ensemble was founded in 1992 and was able to inspire its audiences with over 2,000 performances and win 280 national and international awards. The ensemble is known for choreographies and performances in numerous well-known TV formats of the Chinese State Television (CCTV). Berlin based Chinese cultural associations also had a chance to demonstrate their skills in dance, wushu and taichi. 
At the invitation of the Chinese Cultural Center Berlin seven artisans, all of them bearers of China's immaterial cultural heritage, demonstrated and explained to the guests their crafts, including silversmithing, Jianchuan wood carving, Tuina massage, calligraphic engraving techniques for seal carving, textile dyeing, embroidery of the Yi people and paper cutting. The performances were organized by the Shenzhen Culture and Tourism Center. Berliners could also learn about the production of Hulusi instruments, the brocade fabric of the Dai people, the production of the Pu´er tea and the creation of purple and black ceramics.

Learning a foreign culture through senses is the best way of getting acquainted with the new. Therefore one of the most important events of the program was the opportunity to taste dishes from the original Chinese cuisine. In Vox Restaurant in the Grand Hyatt Hotel Berlin some exceptionally delicious dishes with exotic Chinese names were prepared for the guests to taste. The food was prepare according to centuries-old Chinese recipes dating back to the 12thcentury, some of the named by poets and writers who invented them. To introduce Chinese cuisine in Berlin top cooks from Chengdu region, the capital of the Chinese province Sichuan, were invited to consult German cooks and to cook together. Throughout the celebration days 10 Chinese cooks showed their high art of cooking and enriched the daily menu of the restaurant Vox. The cooking events were organized by the Foreign Affairs Office of the Chengdu City Government. 

In addition to that for those interested in languages the course department of the Chinese Cultural Center Berlin offered an opportunity to learn the Chinese language, Chinese calligraphy and painting as well as the art of paper cutting. All in all everything possible was done by the organisers to let the guests
 enjoy all senses in order to feel and understand the culture of China at its best: through taste, arts and crafts, and aesthetic perfection.

Here are the videorecordings of the amazing performances at the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden:







Text, video recordigns and images courtesy of ARE/Artistic Research Encounters


ARE/Artistic Research Encounters
Torstrasse 208
10115 Berlin
0151 614 38 978

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