Heze forum helps peonies to go global

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2024-04-13 09:14
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The Peony Garden Construction Project in Bulgaria is unveiled at the 2024 Heze Peony International Communication Forum on April 12. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

The 2024 Heze Peony International Communication Forum was held in Heze, Shandong province, on April 12, gathering experts and envoys from home and abroad to share their ideas on the international exchange of peony culture and innovative development of the peony industry.

The forum, which is held annually in Heze, plays a significant role in bringing the peony culture to the world, said Poornima Gunasekera, deputy chief of the mission at the Embassy of Sri Lanka in China, during the forum.

The Peony Garden Construction Project in Bulgaria is unveiled at the 2024 Heze Peony International Communication Forum on April 12. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

Peonies, often referred to as the "King of Flowers", hold deep symbolism in Chinese culture, representing prosperity, honor and beauty. Heze boasts a rich and elaborate peony culture, impressively incorporating peony flowers into the manufacturing of various products, including Chinese medicine, food and cosmetics, said Gunasekera.

Nie Yuanke, deputy Party secretary of Heze, said that the culture surrounding peonies is an integral part of China's outstanding traditional culture. He hoped that the forum would help bolster international discussion of peony culture and boost cultural exchanges and mutual learning, he said.

Souvenir-related peonies are released at the event, including envelopes and seals. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

Peonies are an important tool for promoting Chinese culture abroad, said Guo Weimin, president of the China Public Relations Association. Guo proposed fully exploring and making good use of the cultural value of peonies. More efforts can be made to utilize modern technology and new media forms to promote peony culture overseas.

Several international peony cooperation projects were announced at the forum, as part of the Heze municipal government’s efforts to promote peony culture abroad, including building peony gardens in Bulgaria and establishing a Peony Cultural Communication Station in Malacca city in Malaysia.

A charming performance takes to the stage during the forum. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

Known as the "Peony Capital of China", Heze has a recorded history of more than 1,500 years of peony cultivation and has developed 1,308 varieties of the flower to date.

The city has been making efforts to promote its peonies overseas by building peony gardens abroad and hosting promotional peony culture activities. In 2023, over 3 million peony plants were sold to more than 20 countries and regions.

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