China has teamed up with Japan and Republic of Korea Korea (ROK), to pick three cultural capitals, one from each country. In its third year run, the activity has boosted cultural exchanges between the three. This year, the activity’s opening ceremony was held on Jeju Island in the ROK.
China’s Ningbo, Japan’s Nara and ROK’s Jeju have been honored as the Cultural Capitals of East Asia, at a ceremony held at the World Exhibition Center of Jeju. Promotional videos introduce the cultural strengths of these three cities. East China’s city of Ningbo was hailed for its wood sculptures and literary classics. Japan’s Nara and ROK’s Jeju island are famous for their ancient rituals and performances.
Art delegations from the three cities put on performances to show their cultural legacies. Artists from Ningbo performed their local opera, “Snail Girl”, which tells a popular folk tale of the region. Artists from Nara brought their drum beat performance which was both spirited and steeped in tradition. While artists from Jeju island performed a traditional dance depicting the lives of women living in fishing villages.
“The activity gives a positive signal of cooperation and mutual support between China, Japan and the ROK. Based on this cultural activity, exchanges in other fields have also been carried on among these three countries,” said Chang Yumeng, director of Asian Sector of China’s Ministry of Culture.
“Activities like this will lead to a wide path of exchanges among these three countries. Our cultures will learn from each other to bloom into even more prosperity,” said Kum Ki Hyung, Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism, ROK.
The appraisal of these cultural capitals displays both the differences and similarities of east Asian cities. And cultural exchanges are thus strengthened among the three countries.