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    Europe Street: a celebration of European diversity
Lin Shujuan
2005-09-09 08:33

The best of European culture, food and industry will come to Beijing when Europe Street opens in Chaoyang Park from September 10 to 11. Europe Street is one of the major events in a calendar of activities celebrating the 30th anniversary of EU-China diplomatic relations.

This is the first time the 25 member states of the EU will get together for a large scale cultural event in China. It will give Beijing residents, both foreign and local, a unique opportunity to experience up-close European culture with its similarities and exciting diversity.

During the two-day fair, a series of performances, both modern and folk, for adults and children will be presented, including music, dance and itinerant street acts. Fourteen groups will be flown in from Europe to perform at the fair, providing an eclectic and varied programme. Highlights will include the famous "Sbandieratori," a spectacular folk group of flag bearers from Italy whose show builds up into a crescendo of whirling and swirling, tossing and exchanging of flags; the Delta Saxophone Quartet, one of Britain's most enterprising and adventurous contemporary music ensembles; and "Cleaning women," an original (male!) electro band from Finland, who use household cleaning equipment as musical instruments.

For children, itinerant street acts including "Circus Clog, Wooden Shoe," a humorous, clog-shoed mime group from the Netherlands, and story telling of works by European authors such as Hans-Christian Andersen, will provide added entertainment throughout the day.

In addition to the shows, each member state of the EU will showcase their national culture along Europe Street, focusing on the major themes of "culture," "tourism" and "trade/technology." The public are invited to visit Europe Street for the whole day and take away information and souvenirs.

An array of national foods and drinks from Swedish salmon and Belgian chocolates to Portuguese wine will be offered for sale in the food alley.

As staff from the member states of the EU will take part in Europe Street, authenticity is assured, and the public is encouraged to interact with the EU hosts.

Europe Street is organized by the Delegation of the European Commission to China, with support from the British Council, which operates in China as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy.

Tickets: 5 yuan (US$6.20) for Chaoyang Park entrance

Time/date: 9 am-9 pm

Location: Firework Square (near the south gate) of Chaoyang Park, Chaoyang District

(China Daily 09/09/2005 page12)


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