4th Afro-Chinese folklore festival kicks off in Egypt's Aswan
The fourth edition of the Afro-Chinese Arts and Folklore Festival kicked off on Sunday inside ancient Philae Temple in Upper Egypt's Province of Aswan.
Gathering troupes from 30 countries, the event that lasts until October 31 is held under the auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, in cooperation with other ministries including those of tourism, antiquities, youth and sports, immigration, and social solidarity.
Egypt's Minister of Culture Inas Abdel-Dayem said during the opening ceremony that the festival is continuation of "the extended and deep-rooted relations between China and Egypt in particular and China and Africa in general."
The event was attended by several Egyptian ministers, officials, parliamentarians, artists and movie stars.
China's Xiamen Little Egert Folk Dance Group started the opening shows and was followed by troupes from Uganda, Sudan, Namibia, Algeria, Tunisia, South Africa and others.
Soheir Abdel-Qader, founder and chief of the festival, said that China's close relations with Africa and Egypt inspired her to initiate the Afro-Chinese Arts and Folklore Festival to enhance African-Chinese cultural relations.
"It's also unique that the Chinese troupe performed at Philae Temple for the first time today. China is not only strong in economy but in arts too, and the Chinese folklore art is really so impressive," the festival chief told Xinhua.
The opening day of the festival concluded with two shows from two Egyptian troupes: Toshka Group for National Folk Arts and Aswan Folk Troupe.
For his part, Shi Yuewen, cultural counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Egypt and head of the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo, said that the festival reflects the growing ties between China and African states and the keenness of both sides to bolster them.
"Egypt's initiative to hold this Afro-Chinese festival shows growing keenness on the development of African-Chinese relations not only politically and economically but also culturally," the Chinese diplomat told Xinhua at Philae Temple.