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British Culture Attracts Chinese Youths

Li Xiaoping, a 20-year-old student at Chongqing University, said she was surprised by the unique music played by the State of Bengal (SOB), a British music band.

"It is perfect music which I had never heard before, something close to Asia, something far away from Britain," she said.

SOB, founded in 1987, is an active modern music band in London. It combines Bangladeshi folk music with western compositions to tell the stories and experiences of second generation British of Asian descent.

"University students in Chongqing are quite enthusiastic about the music. They shouted and yelled at us while we played," said Sam Zaman, the band leader.

Marque Gilmore, the drummer and singer of the band, said music is a universal language and local youths understand it well.

SOB gave two concerts in Chongqing this month, attracting 8,000 university students and hundreds of teachers and local citizens.

The band's performance was part of activities organized by the British Consulate General in Chongqing for the British Culture Week which lasted from October 18 to 25.

Four British films were shown during the week. "People can enjoy the original British films while improving their English," said a British consulate general official.

Carma Elliot, the consul general, said, "The theme of the current cultural week is diversity and creativity. We especially want to present the diversity of the British culture, as well as the creativity of British people and their sense of humor."

This is the second British Culture Week held in Chongqing. The first was held in March last year when Britain opened a consulate- general in Chongqing, the fourth municipality in China.

Since the consulate-general opened, it has strengthened economic and cultural ties between Britain and Chongqing, which has a population of 32 million.

An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) center was established in Chongqing early this year and the local broadcasting station has started a British music channel.

(Xinhua News Agency November 01,2001)

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