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Foreign Diplomats Treated to Chinese Ethnic Arts Performance
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As part of a 20-day nationwide ethnic art festival that opened in Beijing Sunday, over 1,000 artists performed ethnic dances and songs in a special soiree for foreign diplomats to China.

The special soiree showcased many typical performances, including Tibetan operas, the Biography of King Gesar in Tibetan language, the Uyghur Dastan, Korean oral tradition and the Mongolian ethnic pastoral song.

Diplomats from all embassies in China have been invited to watch the grand ethnic art performance, said the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

"Chinese ethnic culture and arts are fabulous," said Mohamed Antar, Minister Counsellor with the Tunisian Embassy to China. "Each ethnic group features a unique culture, representing people's different lifestyles. That's why I am so fascinated with China's ethnic groups."

The Third National Joint Art Performance of Ethnic Groups, started on September 5, has drawn 4,500 ethnic artists.

"All China's ethnic groups with such rich culture and unique arts could live together in harmony," said Mohammad Sabir Ismail, Iraqi ambassador to China, furthering his belief that the Chinese government can handle ethnic minority issues properly.

China has 56 ethnic groups and has five autonomous regions for ethnic groups and 21 ethnic groups have their own written languages. The protection of ethnic culture is stipulated in China's Constitution, laws and regulations.

"I found that ethnic minority people are strongly encouraged to create and perform literatures, operas, dramas and musical skills in their own languages." said Marcelo Magnou, from the Uruguayan Embassy, who has already spent one year in southwest China's Yunnan Province.

China's autonomous regions boasted more than 9,000 cultural institutions, including 513 performance art troupes, 566 libraries, 163 museums, 81 public art galleries, 642 cultural palaces and 6,894 cultural centers, according to the State Ethnic Affairs Commission (SEAC).

"It is the first time to hold such grand ethnic performance for foreign diplomats, but there will be more to promote understanding between all Chinese ethnic groups and the world." said a SEAC official Zhou Fang.

(Xinhua News Agency September 25, 2006)


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