DHAKA, Bangladesh: The Spring Festival Photo Exhibition “Yunnan: A Many-Splendored Life” was staged on the campus of the North South University of Bangladesh on January 17.
A hundred selected pictures were on display, allowing the Bangladeshi young people to have a glimpse of Chinese New Year celebrations and the life in Yunnan.
This photo exhibition was part of the 2024 “Voices of Spring · Golden Dreams” Cross-border Spring Festival Evening Gala & Spring Festival Cultural Exchange, and co-hosted by the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Bangladesh and the Information Office and the Foreign Affairs Office of the People’s Government of Yunnan Province.
Yunnan, situated on the southwest border of China, is the most diversified and colorful province in the country. It is home to rivers, snow-capped mountains, rainforests, plateau lakes and other wonders of nature, a kingdom of flora and fauna, a kingdom of non-ferrous metals, a wonderful home for 26 ethnic groups living in harmony together, and an important gateway from China to South Asia and Southeast Asia.
The exhibition was divided into five parts: Biodiversity, Landscapes, Culture, Festive, and Shangri-La, showcasing Yunnan’s unique diversity. The photos capture the harmonious coexistence of the Giant Dragon Bamboo and Saussurea gossipiphora D. Don, the black-necked cranes and the snub-nosed monkeys, snow-capped mountains and rainforests, terraced rice paddies and rivers, and multiple ethnic groups such as the people of Zang, Naxi, Bai and Yi… The faculty and students on campus were amazed by the diversity of Yunnan and China.
Mr. Atiqul Islam, President of North South University, said he had visited China many times. He was impressed by China’s splendid culture and rapid development, as well as the beautiful scenery, hospitality and rich biodiversity of Yunnan. China is a good friend and partner of Bangladesh. This exhibition offers a wonderful opportunity for Bangladeshi students to learn about Chinese Spring Festival and Yunnan, and will promote mutual understanding and learning between the two countries.
“I was impressed by the exhibition’s display of diversity and coexistence,” said Bulbul Ashraf Siddiqi, an Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science & Sociology of North South University. He was moved to see different ethnic groups living together in harmony in Yunnan while retaining their respective lifestyles and ethnic cultures in the pursuit of development.
To mark the upcoming Year of the Dragon, the exhibition dedicated a special section – “Festive” – to the folk customs of Chinese New Year, including folk customs in different parts of the country, in urban and rural areas, and the “temple fair” held on a high-speed train… the happiness of reunion is overflowing everywhere… The people are writing Spring Festival couplets, making paper-cuts for window decoration, pasting the Chinese character “Fu” (good fortune) on the door, hanging red lanterns, and stilt walking… to express their common expectation for a blessed new year.
“The Spring Festival is the biggest traditional festival for us Chinese. It is a festive and auspicious time for saying goodbye to the old and welcoming the new, for family reunions. It embodies the core values of the 5,000-year-old Chinese civilization: peace and cooperation, innovation and enterprising, openness and inclusiveness, which are highly in line with the common values of mankind,” said Peng Bin, Vice Minister of Publicity Department of Yunnan Provincial Committee of CPC and Director of Yunnan Provincial Civilization Office, and a representative of the event organizers. He hoped Bangladeshi friends would feel the festive, lively atmosphere from the timeless Chinese New Year customs and the colorful Yunnan landscape.
Isteak Shakib, a Sophomore Majoring in English at North South University, was one of the visitors to the photo exhibition to feel the festive atmosphere of Chinese New Year celebrations. He said that Bangladesh celebrates the Bengali New Year. On that particular day, the people would put on new clothes and enjoy traditional food, songs and dances.
“Although Bengali New Year and Chinese New Year have different customs, they both represent a new beginning and are harmonious and beautiful,” said he.
At the event site, musicians from Yunnan “popped up” and played traditional Chinese musical instruments such as pipa, yueqin of the Yi people, erhu, and guzheng, conveying the blessings of spring through music. Yunnan University of China and North South University of Bangladesh jointly inaugurated the China-South Asia Socio-Cultural Studies.