Tony Öhberg

Hayoang Jin and Yumo Zhao performing “Military March No 1 opus 51” at the Children’s Lunar New Year Gala in the Helsinki Cultural Center Tiivistämö in Suvilahti district on January 18, 2020. Picture: Tony Öhberg for Finland Today / Click on the picture to view video

HELSINKI

The first International Children’s Lunar New Year Gala, organized by the Finland-China Artists Association, gathered hundreds of people to Helsinki Cultural Center Tiivistämö in Suvilahti district on Saturday afternoon.

Xiaopeng Wu, the chairman of the Chinese Friendship Association, which was one of the organizers, wished in his speech that the celebration would serve as a meeting ground for the participants of diverse cultures.

“I think this event encourages people to get to know each other,” Wu said.

According to Wu, the main members of the friendship association are Chinese, but the next generation of children will live a “totally different” life with friends from different nations.

The program consisted of performances of children from China, Russia, Thailand, India and Finland. The children displayed a multitude of talents in well-rehearsed performances including everything from the Chinese zither to the Indian folk dance and to the passionate play by a very young duet at the piano.

“I was astonished to see how popular the event already is,” said Pia Pakarinen, the deputy mayor for education in the city of Helsinki, in an interview with Finland Today. Pakarinen was at the event as one of the honorary guests and to deliver a welcoming speech.

“I think we have to find a bigger spot to celebrate next time.”

Speech by Counselor Qin Sa, wife of the ambassador of the Chinese embassy in Finland. (The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Finland).

Respect of Ms. Pis Pakarinen,

Ladies and gentlemen, Dear friends, Lovely Children:

Happy New Year to everyone!

Today, it’s my pleasure to attend Finland’s first International Children’s Spring Festival Gala. Chinese Lunar rat year is coming. On this occasion, I wish you all have a harmonious family, happiness and good health, and happy growth!

The year 2020 marks the 70th anniversary of diplomacy between China and Finland. It is a meaningful activity for us to gather together to organize the International Children’s Spring Festival Gala. Children are the hope of the future and the masters of the future. This event will make children from all countries better understand Chinese culture. It is a grand event to deepen friendship.

China is a country with a long history and a brilliant culture. The Spring Festival in China has a history of more than 4,000 years. No matter how the times change, the Spring Festival is the most important and solemn festival of the year for all Chinese people. Even when we are overseas, we will reunite our families, either firing firecrackers, performing dragon and lion dance, or guessing puzzles and watching lanterns, visiting relatives and friends, sharing the joy of family and friendship, and enjoying delicious food. Today’s event is also a grand event to inherit Chinese traditional culture.

Helsinki is a city of diversity and inclusiveness. Cultures of different countries co-exist here. The International Children’s Spring Festival Gala was warmly welcomed by both adults and children from China and Finland. It is not only entrusted with our common expectations for the children to thrive, but also became a grand event where the civilizations of the East and the West learned from each other.

I hope that the International Children’s Spring Festival Gala will be held every year and become better and better. I wish you a wonderful and successful performance today!

 Thank you all!