Feature: Dragon Boat Festival celebration offers taste of Chinese culture on Danube river
BRATISLAVA, June 24 (Xinhua) -- One of Bratislava's most frequented piers on the river Danube turned into a festival venue on Friday evening, as visitors from various sphere of life were treated to a taste of Chinese culture in the celebration of Dragon Boat Festival.
The Confucius Institute in Bratislava organized an introductory performance on the bank and then a culture-laden boat trip along the river to mark the traditional Chinese festival with a history of over thousands of years. The Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month in the Chinese lunar calendar, has been added to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
The crowd gathering at the pier in the bustling downtown district of Bratislava burst out of loud applause after enjoying traditional Chinese lion dance, broadsword play and Tai Chi by martial arts coach Wang Yingshen and his students.
Also at the site, the Chinese Ambassador to Slovakia Sun Lijie said that the Slovak and Chinese nations have "a lot of common values like honoring traditions, patriotism, family and hard work" and the Dragon Boat Festival is "capturing the attention and becoming popular also in Slovakia, helping to deepen the friendship between our countries."
During the subsequent boat trip on a section of the second-longest river in Europe, which meanders through ten states and sixteen towns, the invited guests enjoyed pieces of the magical notes of the Chinese hulusi flute and the dishes of leave-wrapped sticky rice dumplings, a traditional food known as Zongzi in China which is a popular way to mark the Dragon Boat Festival.
On the boat, painting artist Wang Baokang demonstrated her skills and taught interested guests how to draw Peony and write Chinese calligraphy with a writing brush.
"I am fascinated by the differences in our cultures. Once you get to know them (the Chinese), they are very warm-hearted," a passenger named Martina Sliacka told Xinhua. She tried Chinese calligraphy with Wang's help.
Local painter Daniel Bidelnica is another passenger on the Chinese cultural journey. Recalling his visit to watch the Chinese Terracotta Warrior replicas on display in Bratislava a while ago, Bidelnica said he is planning to go to China for artistic inspiration and paint a Terracotta Warrior there in his unique colorful way.