South Pacific island paradises coming to town

Rather than a barrier, the South Pacific has been a passageway of exploration and human interaction. Island nations and territories will showcase their delights here in December.
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE

Islander students in Shanghai perform exotic dances.

What picture comes to mind when you think of South Pacific islands? Coral reefs? Clear blue waters? Or valleys, highlands, jungles and caves? 

Some islands in the region are so small that you will barely find them on a map, but they boast a diversity of geography and culture.

In an effort to spread the fascinating cultures of the South Pacific to a Chinese audience, a short exhibition will be held at the Jing An Shangri-La, West Shanghai, late this month.

About 27 nations and territories, including Fiji, Samoa, Australia’s Norfolk Island and the Solomon Islands, will showcase their charms at the the South Pacific Island Nations Cultural Event on December 26.

On show will be artworks from the World Expo 2010 Shanghai, delicious local food and snacks, a fashion show and traditional Polynesian art and handicrafts.

Islander students living and studying in Shanghai will also stage cultural performances.

The nations and territories across the vast ocean combine contemporary lifestyles with customs and histories dating back thousands of years.

China’s Belt and Road Initiative emphasizes the importance of cultural connections.

“And traveling is the best way to do that,” said Zhang Yu, director of the Jing’an District Tourism Bureau. “We have held a variety of events and exhibitions featuring the history and landscapes of countries such as in Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and so on.

“This way, residents can learn about the world without leaving the city,” Zhang adds.

Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE
Jiang Xiaowei / SHINE
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