Alice Waters' organic bling

Updated: 2011-10-30 07:49

By Mike Peters (China Daily)

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 Alice Waters' organic bling

Chinese girls discover the art of henna tattooing at the Indian embassy's Diwali party last weekend. Geng Feifei / China Daily

Noted organic-food advocate and restaurateur Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse bistro in Berkeley, California, will take her enthusiasm about food to China in November with other US cultural luminaries. "We hope this is the first of many annual events of this type, alternating between China and the United States," said US Ambassador to China Gary Locke.

Waters will cook a dinner for 240 guests invited to the embassy in Beijing. Actress Meryl Streep; musician Yo-Yo Ma; filmmakers Joel Coen and David Fanning; authors Amy Tan, Michael Pollan and Mark Danner; ballet dancer/director Damian Woetzel; and artist Eric Fischl will be among those serving the food.

"We'll be able to feed the people these ideas" about sustainable agriculture and about enjoying dining at a table while having conversations with others, Waters said.

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The Indian embassy's culture wing hosted a small Diwali celebration for students from six local schools last week. This event was an opportunity to expose young Chinese students, through interaction with their Indian counterparts, to the customs and traditions of Indian festivals like Diwali, the Festival of Lights, says Vinayak Chavan, first secretary at the embassy.

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It's been a big week of National Day receptions at Beijing embassies, with Zambia and Hungary kicking things off on Monday, Kazahkstan on Tuesday, Austria on Wednesday, the Czech Republic on Thursday and Turkey on Friday.

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Kristin A. Arnadottir, Iceland's ambassador to China, hosted the opening of a literature exhibition and a poster exhibition at Peking University on Friday. She was joined by six Icelandic poets and local VIPS: Zhou Qifeng, president of Peking University; Huang Nubo, chairman of Zhongkun Group; and Wang Ronghua, former ambassador of China to Iceland

Friday evening, Icelandic soprano diva Diddu gave a concert after a gala reception to mark the occasion of 40 years of diplomatic relations between Iceland and China. The cheerful soprano is no stranger to this idea: Diddu performed in Beijing 10 years ago for the 30th anniversary.

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The EU delegation to China this week hosted a preview for the 4th Annual EU Film Festival in China, which will take all month in November in Beijing, Chengdu and Shenzhen. New EU movies will be screened in commercial theaters in Beijing from Nov 1-14, in Chengdu from Nov 16-22 and in Shenzhen from Nov 24-30. Some will be shown at Beijing cultural institutes from Nov 15-30.

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Czech ambassador Libor Secka hosted a reception for watercolorist Tomas Cisarovsky, and also presented pianist Liu Zhimeng in the latest installment of the three-year Embassy Art series. Cisarovsky's show, "Free-Flow Watercolors," will be displayed at a Beijing gallery later in the year.

Embassy news can be sent to mike.peters.cd@gmail.com.

(China Daily 10/30/2011 page5)