China's culture permeates international book fair in Peru

GMT 00:23 2015 Wednesday ,05 August

Arab Today, arab today China's culture permeates international book fair in Peru

International book fair in Peru China

China's culture permeated the 20th International Book Fair in Peru's capital Lima, leaving a profound impression on the publishers and visitors attending the 17-day event.

At Latin America's top five events of its kind, which was held from July 17 to Aug. 2 this year, the Chinese stand and cultural events organized by Chinese embassy staff added a lot of Asian flavor.

Out of the 155 stands and 650 different cultural events on display at the fair, including book presentations, roundtables, poetry recitals and film screenings, those representing China were among the most popular.

Both fair-goers and publishing industry leaders flocked to the stand lit by traditional red lanterns to admire and learn about the elegant Chinese art of macrame knots, costumes in the Han and Tang dynasties, fine silk products, and works of history and medicine.

In addition to purchasing books and handicrafts, many visitors waited patiently in long lines to have their pictures taken in ancient Chinese garb or to have their names written in Chinese characters.

"Our Chinese stand has turned into a star feature at the book fair," the Chinese embassy's cultural attache Zhu Xiaoyan said. "Since the inauguration, the main local media outlets have reported China's stand as a focal point in their coverage. That shows we have met our goal of familiarizing visitors with Chinese culture."

Zhu said the aim of taking part in the fair was to "speak well of Chinese storytelling, present positive images of China, and promote Chinese culture, and increase the Peruvian public's knowledge of modern China."

In addition to recreational and instructional events, like teaching how to make elaborate Chinese knots, the stand offered a range of books, including Chinese President Xi Jinping's book "The Governance of China."

The Chinese embassy, together with the Peru-China Friendship Foundation, organized a seminar on Xi's book, inviting four young Peruvian intellectuals to exchange their interpretations of the ideas presented in the book.

Just as Peruvian Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa has many admirers in China, China's Nobel Prize winner Mo Yan has his fans in Peru. At the fair, they had the opportunity to discuss his works of "hallucinatory realism," as the Swedish Academy described them.

Peruvian-born China expert and translator Guillermo Danino, who began to study Chinese at the age of 50, has published more than 20 books on the Asian country, including the "Encyclopedia of Chinese Culture," which was available at the fair.

Danino, now 85, has lived in China for some 30 years.

The tome can serve as a cultural bridge between China and Latin America, he said, adding that he hoped "all Spanish-speaking readers can get to know Chinese culture through this encyclopedia."

"I consider it the most important work I have done, in a sense that it contains great wealth, which is not mine, but from Chinese culture," Danino said.

In a garden next to the fair venue, fair-goers even got a chance to learn Chen-style Tai Chi from martial art expert Juan Vasquez, director of the Latin American Association of Chen-style Tai Chi.

Vasquez, 60, is the only person in Peru who has studied under the great Chinese master Chen Zhenglei.

Vasquez said the martial art is increasingly popular in Latin America, but it is often practiced incorrectly, which was why he was keen on promoting the "authentic" form at the fair.

All these activities turned this year's fair into a unique experience that brings distant China closer to Latin America.

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