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Belgians display culture, tradition

Time:2014-05-16   Source:Shenzhen Daily


Belgians dressed in various Napoleonic military uniforms beat drums and play flutes in Hall 8 of Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center on Thursday, the opening day of the China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair. Li Hao

Ten Belgians from Wallonia, who were dressed in various Napoleonic military uniforms, beat drums and played flutes in Hall 8 of Shenzhen Convention and Exhibition Center on Thursday, the opening day of the China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair (ICIF).


The performance is part of the pavilion that was set up by Belgium (Kingdom) China and Belgium Culture Economy Trade Community Association.

The performers are aged between 18 and 72, and this is their first visit to China.

Belgian Willens Arnaud told Shenzhen Daily on Thursday that in some Belgian villages it is a 200-year-old tradition to dress in Napoleonic uniforms for four or five days each year.

“We forget everything; we take off our watches. We eat and drink. It’s a great fair,” said Arnaud.

“Music was very important to Napoleon’s army. It was the heart of the army. Without it, the army would die. When drums are beat, we know when to walk and won’t miss the tempo,” he added.

“We are representing our tradition and we hope to send a message of tradition to Chinese people here,” said Arnaud.

In addition to the performance, there are Belgian artworks, beers and chocolates at the pavilion.

Kevin IP, the European chairman of the association, told Shenzhen Daily on Thursday that the pavilion is aimed at promoting Belgium’s culture and tourism.

“Although Belgium is a small country, it has a rich culture. We hope to seek cooperation in the fields of tourism, cultural exchange and science at the ICIF,” said IP.

IP said while Brussels is known to many people, Belgium is known to few.

Tourism projects are also being introduced at the pavilion, including a new memorial due to open in the spring of next year.

The memorial is located at the foot of the Lion’s Mound in Wallonia and marks the bicentenary of the Battle of Waterloo. An underground building, the memorial is integrated into the site of the Battlefield of Waterloo. New technologies will allow visitors to relive all the intensity of the battle that occurred June 18, 1815.

ICIF visitors were drawn in by the Belgian performance and couldn’t help taking pictures of performers with their cameras and mobile phones.

Editor: Zhao Liting