Information Office of Changzhou Municipal People’s Government

PARIS, May 27, 2024 — In mid-May, the Changzhou “Grand Canal Meets Seine River” cultural exchange event series arrived in France. The event, organized by the Information Office of Changzhou Municipal People’s Government, featured an exhibition of Eastern aesthetics, a visit to Yi Li Garden – the first Chinese garden in France, a cruise on the Seine River, and a stop at the Fontainebleau Palace square. Over 500 friends from various sectors of French society enjoyed an intimate encounter with the Chinese city of Changzhou.

Sightsee Urban Charm

The event featured live city presentations by Changzhou leaders, a city image video in French, introductions to the city via ancient books, and various visual displays, including Jintan paper cuttings and sand art scrolls themed “Grand Canal Meets Seine River”. Gilles-Henri Garault, vice chairman of the Society for the Encouragement of National Industry and chairman of the International Committee of France, and Saint-Remy Mayor Bouchard took on the role of cultural ambassadors, hoping to achieve mutual prosperity through the deepening friendship between both sides.

Listen to Melodies of Jiangnan

In elegant concert halls, lively boats, beautiful gardens, and picturesque squares, Jiangnan string and woodwind musicians performed famous pieces like “High Mountain and Flowing Water” and “Blue-and-White Porcelain”. They took the audience on a time-traveling journey to experience the charm of Jiangnan’s water towns. During the event, they also collaborated with Philip Bride, the chief violinist and the President of the National Higher Institute of Marseille, to perform “Red Rose and White Jasmine”, creating a symphony of French romance and Oriental elegance.

Breathe in Fragrance of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese medicine exudes a pleasant fragrance from Changzhou’s intangible cultural heritage random stitch embroidery sachets, known for their soothing and stress-relieving effects. These sachets, symbolizing wishes for peace and health, are highly sought after and in short supply. They offered a unique olfactory experience to friends from France, known as the “world’s perfume capital”.

Taste Jiangnan Cuisine

The tea art performance showcased over ten intricate steps, including washing tea, brewing, smelling the aroma, and tasting. Culinary highlights featured the meticulous knife skills of the blindfolded Wensi tofu cutting, the fine dragon beard noodles, lifelike food carvings, fragrant Changzhou radish fried rice, and unforgettable crab roe buns. Guests like Roger Serbag, secretary general for State and International Cooperation at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Mahieta Bounshev, chair of UNESCO’s affiliated associations, praised the culinary delights.

Experience Traditional Crafts

The demonstration of woodblock printing sparked an interactive frenzy, with everyone eager to try printing their favorite patterns. A long queue formed in front of the Menghe Medical School inheritors, and after experiencing the magical acupuncture, French friends, including Marie François, deputy mayor of Fontainebleau-Samois, marveled at Changzhou’s traditional crafts.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, as well as the China-France Year of Culture and Tourism. The flowing Seine and the Grand Canal bear witness to another encounter, fusion, and mutual understanding between the two countries.

Source: Information Office of Changzhou Municipal People’s Government

CONTACT: Contact person: Mr. Wong, Tel: 86-10-63074558.