MIL-OSI China: Roadside concert in SW China brings global youth together

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Source: China State Council Information Office 3

This photo taken on May 24, 2024 shows a roadside concert at the Wenchang Pavilion in Guiyang, southwest China’s Guizhou Province. (Xinhua/Wu Si)

A roadside concert in Guiyang, capital of southwest China’s Guizhou Province, captivated passersby recently with a special show, featuring foreign students from over 30 countries and regions performing alongside their Chinese peers.

Held on the evening of May 24 as one of the highlights of the 2024 China-ASEAN Education Exchange Week, the concert provided the youth with a stage to showcase diverse cultures and make friends from around the world.

Ishimwe Pacifique, a Rwandan student at Guizhou Normal University, chose to sing a pop song from his hometown. “I was surprised to have the opportunity to perform in front of so many people on the street,” said the 29-year-old. “The audience was very interested in what I was doing and I really enjoyed it.”

Manha Abdellah from Pakistan sang two songs, including a medley with other international students. She has studied clinical medicine at Guizhou Medical University for over six months.

“The audience was very enthusiastic, especially when I mentioned that I was from Pakistan. They cheered loudly, reflecting the strong friendship between China and Pakistan,” she said with a warm smile.

Roadside concerts in Guiyang date back to 1937, when some musical organizations taught the local people to sing patriotic songs, which aroused their fighting spirit during the Chinese People’s War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression.

This tradition has persisted into modern times, with pop songs now dominating the concerts, which are performed by music enthusiasts and local bands, and take place in several bustling spots of the city.

In 2023, a performance in an underground passageway in the city’s Guanshanhu District unexpectedly gained popularity. Through social media livestreaming, the performance went viral and transformed the roadside concert into a vibrant local cultural attraction.

This special edition of the concert featuring global youth was held at the Wenchang Pavillion, a landmark of Guiyang. Data shows that about 30 concerts have been held here, attracting a total of nearly 70,000 on-site spectators and reaching more than 1 billion online viewers.

Roshenskaia Svetlana, hailing from Russia, was one of the hosts of the concert. While there was a hint of nervousness on her face, she couldn’t hide her excitement.

“This is my first time participating in a roadside concert. The audience was exceptionally warm, and the atmosphere was lively. I also made many friends from different countries,” she said.

The 20-year-old is particularly interested in Chinese intangible cultural heritage and has participated in the production of several videos showcasing the culture of ethnic minorities in Guizhou. She hopes to continue her studies in Shanghai someday and work in China’s film industry after graduation.

Waving glowing sticks, Cai Juping, a local college student, enjoyed the concert as a spectator for the first time and spoke highly of the fresh experience.

“Though they are not professional singers, the international students are all very confident, which is great,” said Cai. “I think the roadside concert is not just an occasion to promote cultural exchange; it can also help those students who live far from home feel more joy and fun while living in China.”

MIL OSI China News