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Amazon Culture Brightens Beijing

The Amazon River is to Brazil what the Yellow River is to China. Over thousands of years, the grand stretch of water has fostered rich and colorful indigenous cultures in the world's largest tropical forest. Now, a part of the Amazon culture has come to brighten up Beijing.

An unfortunate morning rain soaked Beijing's Palace Museum on Tuesday, but it didn't stop the visiting Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva from attending the opening ceremony of the Amazonia, Native Tradition Exhibition.

The exhibition is a display of native Brazilian artifacts -- both ancient and the indigenous. Nearly 350 traditional objects are there for all to see.

China and Brazil have been increasing their level of cultural exchange over recent years. In 2003, more than one million Brazilians visited the exhibition Treasures of the Forbidden City and Xi'an Warriors in Sao Paulo. Now, Brazilian organizers hope their exhibition will prove equally attractive to Beijing residents.

Maria Lucia Verdi, cultural attaché of Brazilian Embassy in Beijing, said, "I hope the Chinese people can come here and learn more about the status and the beauty of our primitive culture which still is alive in Brazil. The indigenous is still alive. They are part of the Brazilian culture which is now very changed. But we are very proud of our minorities as China is very proud of its minorities. "

The exhibition showcases both Brazil's past and present indigenous life. The oldest objects are hunting and fishing tools -- about eight thousand years old. This Pregnant Jaguar and Woman Figurine combine both human and animal attributes.... And these are ancient Amazonian funerary urns. They've already captured the attention of many visitors from around the world.

Pascale Desvaux, a French visitor, said, "All the traditional art from Brazil is very interesting and it's very rare to see this kind of exhibition around the world. It's really nice to see it in Beijing, in the Forbidden City."

Nestled in the heart of old Beijing, the Brazilian exhibition will be held for three months till the end of August.

(CCTV.com May 26, 2004)

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