Bisgaard presents his ceremonial offering of tea to Su Guowen, prince and spiritual leader of the Blang People, on the Blang New Year in Mangjing Village, Lancang County, Yunnan Province on Apr. 16. [Photo: Corey Cooper]
Bisgaard said he decided to accept Su's invitation to perform the ceremony to show his respect for the Blang people and their critical contributions to tea.
"For these people, tea is something special, more than growing, processing, and making money," Bisgaard said. "For them, tea has deep spiritual significance."
He continued: "Billions of people who drink tea everyday have, in a way, benefitted from the work initiated by the Blang people. With this symbolic act, I am saying 'thank you' on behalf of all who enjoy tea."
In addition to representing the rest of the world in making a tribute to the Blang people and to the birthplace of tea, Bisgaard said he hoped that the ceremony would help bridge the gap between tea drinkers of all races and show that the positive effects of drinking tea are universal.
"My experience making tea around the world is that tea opens not only all doors but all hearts," he said.
"No matter how elaborate or sophisticated the preparation, the benefits of tea are the same. Sharing tea with other people gives an experience of peace, harmony, and oneness."