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Chinese culture industry boosted by Belt and Road initiative

4 min read

Beijing symposium highlights the opportunities for expansion of China-based enterprises in a range of fields, including cartoon animation, ice acrobatics and tea

A symposium setting out to better implement the Belt and Road Cultural Development Action Plan (2016-20) by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and support key projects and enterprises through lectures and presentations, was held at the Beijing-based Central Academy of Cultural Administration on 23-27 April.

During the seminar, more than 40 key projects, covering many fields of the creative cultural industry, were chosen as finalists to give presentations on their projects.

Chinaculture.org interviewed five project managers who shared their enterprises’ understanding of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Big chance for Chinese cartoons going global

Jiang Cong, director, president’s office, Guangdong Alpha Animation and Culture

“As one of the pioneers in the Chinese animation industry, Alpha founded an overseas project department as early as 2000. Through attaching great importance to global market expansion as the core strategy of the company, Alpha has strived to promote international cultural trade co-operation.

“Alpha has made exchanges with more than 20 countries that participate in the Belt and Road Initiative in the fields of animation broadcasting, toy sales, intellectual property authorisation, project research and development.

“Cultural confidence not only refers to the behaviour of going out, but bringing in. Alpha not only helps China-made cartoon character Super Wings reach more audiences in the overseas market, but introduces iconic cartoon characters and their derivative products to China, SpongeBob and Peppa Pig included.”

Time to show the charm of ice acrobatics

Xue Jinsheng, general director, Heilongjiang Acrobatic Troupe

Ice acrobatics

Credit:
provided to chinadaily.com.cn

“President Xi Jinping once said invaluable assets not only include clear waters and lush mountains, but the frozen and snow-covered land in Heilongjiang province. Therefore, Heilongjiang Acrobatic Troupe makes full use of its geographic advantages and integrates Chinese traditional acrobatics with ice and snow performance, and it works well.

“Acrobatics on ice is a scarce resource in the performing market. The art has distinct regional characteristics and great potential for market expansion, both at home and abroad. In recent years, the troupe has toured in the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Japan and Portugal, and its performances are well received in each country. We have confidence that more countries will see the charm of ice acrobatics.

“In 2019, Heilongjiang Acrobatic Troupe is about to start a new world tour. Through brilliant performance and cultural expression, ice acrobatics will show the world Heilongjiang, and demonstrate Chinese culture as a whole.”

Better understanding of Chinese tea culture

Ma Yinji, manager, foreign trade department, Anhui Keemun Black Tea Development

Black tea epitomises traditional Chinese culture

Credit:
provided to chinadaily.com.cn

“As a modern enterprise integrating tea research, planting, production, sales and tea culture inheritance, the Anhui Keemun Black Tea Development company has risen to be an exhibition site to show the culture of Keemun black tea, identified as a national intangible cultural heritage.

“The bond between Chinese people and tea is close. As an integral part of Chinese tea, Keemun black tea has many stories, especially for foreigners. Therefore, the company has decided not only to offer the taste of black tea, but tell the stories behind the tea.

“The company’s products and services are provided to overseas consumers through close co-operation with business partners in more than 10 countries and regions, such as the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Guinea and Togo.

“In the future, the company is willing to conduct more business and cultural exchanges with counterparts from more countries and regions, thanks to the policy support of the initiative.”

Combining old wood painting art with modern characters

Yan Zhiguo, vice-president, Hebei Bainianqiaojiang Cultural Communication

Wood painting art

Credit:
provided to chinadaily.com.cn

“The enterprise uses Chinese traditional handicraft techniques such as mounting, pyrography, carving and coloured drawing, creatively combined with modern technologies, to develop wood mosaic painting art, suitable for art collections in both personal and public spaces.

“In 2016, the company signed an agreement worth $35m with its American counterpart. The two sides agreed to set up a joint-stock culture company to build a cultural creative product exhibition centre at the Hollywood Walk of Fame, providing a platform for Chinese traditional culture and creative products.

“In recent years, China has upheld the spirit of craftsmanship to boost manufacturing industries through innovation and the making of high-quality products. As a practitioner of this spirit, the company has eyes on the global market and plans to co-operate with more countries and regions that participate in the Belt and Road Initiative.”

Reviving traditional silk culture

Zhang Xingwu, project manager, Wujiang Dingsheng Silk

Chinese Song brocades

Credit:
provided to chinadaily.com.cn

“In 2015, the company was invited to participate in the 42rd Milan Expo and Milan Fashion Week. The company’s brand Saint Joy Songjin has attracted attention from the European fashion industry. One of the event organisers, the European Design Centre, was very interested in Chinese Song brocade products. Our company also longs to open up the overseas market, introducing advanced fashion design and brand promotion ideas to China. Therefore, we agreed to be partners.

“On 30 August 2016, the Saint Joy Songjin European Design Centre was established. Through co-operation between domestic technicians and overseas designers, international fashion elements have been added to traditional Chinese Song brocades products.

“As small and-medium-sized enterprises, overseas channels are limited to us. To this end, we actively participate in the Belt and Road Initiative. We are honoured that our products are national gifts presented to other countries on many formal diplomatic occasions. I think it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the world to know more about Chinese Song brocades and the industry.”

This article was originally produced and published by China Daily. View the original article at www.chinadaily.com.cn

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Instagram mega mum takes down account after accusations she used her children for advertising 

2 min read

Instagram mega mum takes down account after accusations she used her children for advertising 

Photographs of a family holiday in Florida are labelled as a partnership with Visit Florida, which Mrs Hooper described as a “work trip” in an interview, whilst the couple spent time in Madagascar in October. 

Their social media profiles have also acted as a springboard for the couple to write three books between them about pregnancy and parenting. 

Mr Hooper,  a 35-year-old management consultant, is taking part in a “social experiment” whereby Renault have placed a camera in his car for a year. 

Mr Hooper then posts videos of family trips – tagged as being a “paid partnership with Renault UK” – including one in which he says that it is “really the only place” he can had one on one time with his daughters. 

Recent Mumsnet posts from Mrs Hooper reveal that it is not just on blogs where the ethics of posting images of their children are discussed as a photographs of one of her daughters on a potty “was one I wasn’t happy with him posting I felt it crossed the line”, she revealed. 

When asked why she did not demand he remove it she replied: “The reason I felt it wasn’t wise to have it taken down was I felt it would only anger people and fuel more threads so I remained silent and never mentioned it until now. “

Those close to the midwife, who works on a ward one day a week, say that the de-activation of her Instagram account is likely to only be temporary as she takes a few days breather from online rows. 

The midwife had also become embroiled in accusations of bullying on her page after her followers repeatedly criticised someone who accused her of hypocrisy. 

Despite posts suggesting that she had been reported for breaches of the Nursing and Midwifery Council’s social media rules, her employer Kings College Hospital said that it had received no such complaint. 

Mrs Moody refused to comment on why she had suspended her account. 

She has faced criticism for featuring her children in her posts for a number of years and has repeatedly defended her decision. 

Her followers have commented on Mr Hooper’s account asking her to ignore the “bullying” and come back, with one commenting: “People still can’t handle someone being a mother and a professional, and a person in their own right.”

Justine Roberts, CEO and founder of Mumsnet, said: “Many Instagram stars are in our own Influencers Network, we consider them to be Mumsnetters and value them highly.

“We know that some have taken the feedback on board; the criticism of a lack of clarity when it comes to labelling sponsored posts seems to have led to some Instamums being more transparent about sponsorship and advertising, which is great and much appreciated by mums.”

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‘No-frills’ funerals on the rise as families fear of engaging with death

1 min read

'No-frills' funerals on the rise as families fear of engaging with death

Professor Douglas Davies, a professor in the study of religion at Durham University, said young people were scared of the emotional impact of bereavement and warned that a modern “avoidance of being upset” could stop people grieving properly. 

He said they lived in a “safety world” which shielded them from the impact of negative emotions. 

“Think of all these youngsters who have been looked after from the time they’re babies, driven to school, all that sort of stuff. 

“Death is a bit of a shock when your mother’s been really looking after you for years,” he said. 

He suggested that young people’s prolific use of social media increased the level of “living input” they experienced and made it harder and more painful to think about death. 

“The more information we get into our system, the more we are getting used to being around,” he said, suggesting that an acute “fear of missing out” made it painful to consider “the thought of there being nothing”. 

The practice of direct cremation, already common in America, has received greater public attention since the death of David Bowie in January 2016. He opted for the no-frills service and asked for his ashes to be scattered in Bali. 

But Professor Davies said the emotional impact on mourners of opting for a no-frills funeral had not been fully researched.

“What concerns me there is the fact that our emotions take wave forms and go up and down. The more they go up and down, the more we look back on them and remember and experience the event. 

“If you are removing the fluctuation you are possibly removing the richness of human experience, where it can be negative as well as positive,” he warned. 

He added that families opting for non-traditional forms of funeral such as using a civil celebrant or scattering ashes could end up feeling like they had not given their relative a “good send off”. 

In one case, a family who had used a civil celebrant had later decided to ask a priest to come and do another ceremony because they did not feel the person had been properly laid to rest.

He added that many of the cases where services involved direct cremations were likely to be elderly people with few close relatives left living.

Others would opt for the service because of its low cost, which can be thousands of pounds less than a standard funeral. 

Royal London’s report found that the average funeral in 2017 cost £3,784, a three per cent rise on the previous year. 

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Royal wedding live: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s ceremony begins

1 min read

Royal wedding live: Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's ceremony begins

With just 15 minutes until the bride arrives, here’s what music is being played inside St George’s Chapel. A folky/antique theme dominates in this sequence of pieces.

EDWARD ELGAR SALUT D’AMOUR

Elgar’s first published piece. Originally written in 1888 as a gift for his future wife Carice. He sold the rights to the publisher for two guineas, which was a really bad move. It became massively popular and could have earned him a fortune.

GUSTAV HOLST: ST PAUL’S SUITE, 4 TH MOVT

Holst taught at St Paul’s School for Girls and composed this in 1912 for the school orchestra. This movement based on 16 th century English ballad

SIR CHARLES HUBERT HASTINGS PARRY movts 2,3,5

Parry, a leading light of the so-called ‘English Renaissance’ who was the first director of the Royal College of Music in 1883. He wrote his Lady Radnor’s suite in 1894 for the all-women orchestra conducted by Helen, Countess of Radnor. It’s a kind of Baroque Suite in Victorian dress.

PETER WARLOCK: CAPRIOL SUITE

Set of dances based on a book of Renaissance dances composed by Peter Warlock (gifted composer who died in 1930 aged 36).

RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: FANTASIA ON GREENSLEEVES

Vaughan Williams was a collector of folk-song, and wrote many pieces based on the songs he found. This one is especially beloved, it’s always in Classic FM’s Hall of Fame. More famous and well-known than the tune it’s based on.

ELGAR SERENADE FOR STRINGS

Elgar’s first really successful work, completed in 1893. It remained one of his favourite works right to the end of his life. He liked it because it was ‘really stringy’ – weird phrase but a musician knows What he means – it completely suits a string orchestra, you couldn’t arrange it for something else.

ELGAR CHANSON DE MATIN

In his early days, Elgar was always complaining about having no money, and wrote this delicious piece in 1899 as a deliberate money-spinner for his publisher Novello. It worked.

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