Cultural Diplomacy

Chinese Minister of Culture Luo Shugang says Zambia-China cultural cooperation stands out as a role model for China-African cooperation. The Chinese minister has also praised the visit of the Zambian tourism Minister Charles Banda, saying that the visit would elevate existing cultural relations between the two countries to a higher level. The Chinese Minister also agreed to the need for the two parties to expedite the process of finalizing the Cultural Agreement and called for more substance to be added to the framework so as to widen the scope of cooperation.

Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi were apparently talking movies, among other things, at a summit in Kazakhstan on Friday. Xi mentioned that he, like millions of Chinese, had enjoyed the hit Bollywood film Dangal. Xi and Modi went on to discuss boosting cultural cooperation between the two countries. [...] Dangal is still screening across China at more than 7,000 cinemas.Its success follows a string of other Bollywood films that have won over Chinese audiences in recent years, including the previous biggest hit, PK, which took in 118 million yuan.

Generations of Indian diplomats have been using mango for years to win both friends and foes. [...] Foreigners didn’t know how to tackle the fruit, a fact happily taken advantage of by one Indian diplomat living in Geneva. He once met Dag Hammarskjold, the UN secretary-general, who told him he kept getting mangoes from Indians which he didn’t know how to eat. [...] It was reported in 1955 that as Chou ate his mango “his beetling brow relaxed, his lips rippled into a smile… Thereafter, he ate out of Mr. Nehru’s hand and signed the famous joint declaration.” 

 

Can music really build bridges of understanding amid conflicts? Participants at the 2017 European Forum on Music in Cyprus think so, though they admit that music can also become a weapon. [...] On Saturday, June 10, music will bridge that divide when Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot musicians take the stage together in Pafos to perform at the 2017 European Forum on Music.

For a few hours on Sunday, Ariana Grande, a 23-year-old pop star from Boca Raton, Florida, was the leader of the free world. The position has been open for months. Contestants ranging from German Chancellor Angela Merkel to, improbably, Chinese President Xi Jinping have been auditioning for the job. [...] While President Trump gutter-tweeted argle-bargle and played another round of golf, Grande delivered what will likely stand as the official American response to the bombing in Manchester and to another terrorist attack, the night before the concert, in London.

Turkey has started to use public diplomacy in its modern sense and as a state policy for the first time during the AK party era. [...] In addition, TIKA (Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency) the first soft power institution of Turkey (opened in the 1990s), has been restructured in order to adapt to public diplomacy. [...] The Yunus Emre Institute, which was opened in 2009, has started to carry out the cultural diplomacy activities of public diplomacy. In this respect, Turkish foreign policy has also opened up to the cultural and social fields.

Chef Dicky Cheung is the former co-owner/chef of Golden Willow Chinese Restaurant in Concord. [...] The good news is that Chef Dicky hasn’t hung up his apron just yet. Since his retirement, he has been volunteering his kitchen mastery “wok-ing” to help various nonprofit organizations raise money for worth causes. [...] The Concord Ambassadors organization was established in 1974 when executives representing Concord and Kitakami, Japan, met in Concord to draw up a charter of lasting friendship between the two cities. 

Attorney Tom Jennings said he was just looking to brush up on his Russian when he got involved in Citizen Diplomacy’s cultural exchange program in 1998. The Jennings have opened their home to more than three dozen visitors “and deal with many others,” said Tom.“The stories could go on forever, but the central theme is it’s an opportunity available to people in our area. Citizen Diplomacy is peacemaking at the retail level, one handshake at a time,” he said.

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