Grenada Day brings Spice Culture to China
Sounds of jubilation echoed from within the Guirui Theatre during the Grenada Day celebration observed at the Beijing International Horticulture Expo on September 24th
. Inside, more than 200 guests including government and cultural ambassadors, dignitaries, envoys, students and well-wishers were treated to an exceptional cultural explosion from the southern Caribbean island known for its unique charm and natural beauty. Grenada Day brought to the fore a plethora of Grenada’s touristic allure through music, dance performances and great food, with the hope of attracting more international interest in the island for tourism and investment gains.
At the opening ceremony, Grenada’s Ambassador to China, Her Excellency, Dr. Abbie Simone David, lauded the opportunity to showcase aspects of Grenada’s cultural landscape and thanked host country, China for the international exposure. The Ambassador described the event as a tangible effort in the strengthening of relations not only on a national level but also between the peoples of the two countries which re-established diplomatic relations in 2005. It is her hope that diplomatic ties between the two nations will continue to grow from strength to strength through mutual respect, understanding and cooperation.
According to Ambassador David, the theme of the 2019 Beijing Expo “Live Green, Live better,” is synonymous to the continuous efforts by Grenada through its Pure Grenada campaign to achieve “pureness, resiliency and a clean environment that lasts for generations to come”.
That too is the hope of Deputy Secretary-General of China Flower Association, and Deputy Government Commissioner of Beijing Expo Mr. Zhang Yinchao, who in his opening remarks emphasized the importance of a joint international effort to build bridges and work together to combat existing environmental threats. He said the Expo showcases the latest achievements in the field of horticulture and vividly depicts the harmonious coexistence between human and nature.
Mr. Yinchao expressed appreciation for Grenada’s active participation in the Expo and promised that the friendship between the two countries will continue to bring tangible mutual benefits in many areas including agriculture, culture, economy and trade and tourism. He spoke on China’s willingness to share development opportunities with Grenada, strengthen exchanges and cooperation and jointly create a better tomorrow.
His remarks were followed by a medley of musical acts by some of Grenada’s most talented entertainers including reigning Soca King Boyzie, 4-time Groovy Monarch, Dash, Lavaman, Jab King and Solid the Band. Their performances were enthusiastically received by the patrons with many requesting more renditions. Grenadian students attending various universities in China were among the revelers and were quite vocal in their appreciation, repeatedly thanking the Ambassador for “bringing a taste of home” to them as they pursued various academic goals in China.
Lucky patrons were also treated to raffle prizes including a jacket with Grenada’s map and flag on the back, an assortment of Grenadian chocolates, premium Clark’s Court Rum and the grand prize of a round trip ticket to Grenada from China’s capital Beijing to St George. The grand prize which was won by a Chinese national created quite a buzz among locals especially since Chinese citizens can visit the Spice Isle for 30 days visa free.
When the entertainment came to an end, patrons were invited to the Caribbean Pavilion where an array of tasty Grenadian cuisine awaited them.
More than 80 countries participated in the Beijing Horticulture Expo, which runs from April 29 to October 7, in the Yanqing district of Beijing. Each country has a special day to feature its unique cultural landscape alongside the Expo’s vast collection of herbs and flowers and wide array of educational and interactive exhibits and cultural performances. Grenada Day was said to be one of the most vibrant and entertaining days with a celebration of the artistry, uniqueness, and vibrancy of the nation’s people.