Country for PR: China
Contributor: Xinhua News Agency
Wednesday, August 31 2022 - 12:19
The 2022 Yangtze River Culture Festival kicked off in Zhangjiagang
ZHANGJIAGANG, China, Aug. 31, 2022 /Xinhua-AsiaNet/--

The 2022 Yangtze River Culture Festival kicked off on Aug 27 in Zhangjiagang, a 
port city in East China's Jiangsu province, and will run until October. The 
annual gathering has become a habit for artists, scholars and inheritors of 
intangible cultural heritages in the Yangtze River Basin, according to the 
Organizing Committee of Yangtze River Culture Festival. As the event has been 
held for 19 consecutive years, people cannot help to ask why the small city is 
so influential in the whole Yangtze River region. 

There are 181 bends of more than 90 degrees in the main stream of the Yangtze 
River, and the last one forms Zhangjiagang Bay. Today, here is an ecological 
scenic spot where the river can be seen and nostalgia remembered. Not far away 
is the Shanghai-Suzhou-Nantong Yangtze River Bridge, which began operations in 
2020, with the high-speed trains on it running between Shanghai and northern 
Jiangsu. Especially on the bridge, people can enjoy the magnificent river and 
the city skyline on the riverbank.

Despite that Zhangjiagang, about 130 kilometers away from Shanghai, is only a 
county-level city in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, it is always ranked among the 
top three county-level cities in China in terms of economic strength. It is 
generally believed that the spirit of Zhangjiagang people's striving for the 
first comes from their riverside life experience featuring the courage to make 
the tide.

Zhangjiagang was founded just 60 years ago, but archaeological discoveries show 
that it was where the first civilization in the Yangtze River Basin emerged. 
During the Tang and Song dynasties, it was an important port for Sino-foreign 
exchanges, with palmette patterns typical of the western style appearing on 
excavated porcelain.

The young Zhangjiagang city is not only seeking to elevate its economy to the 
next level, but more importantly to build itself into a highly civilized city. 
Since the 1990s, a high level of civilization has been its pride, and the 
Yangtze River Culture Festival is one of its major initiatives.

Liu Pengchun, an artist who has attended the festival many times, said that 
artists from the Yangtze River Basin have diverse living habits, but the 
festival organizers manage to meet their different needs, which attracts people 
to the festival. Zhangjiagang boasts the best group of volunteers in China.

Another reason why the festival can be echoed across the basin is that 
Zhangjiagang respects cultural expression, where the diversity of Yangtze River 
culture can be fully showcased on the stage.

In recent years, the concept of preserving the Yangtze River and promoting its 
culture has gained unanimous recognition in China. Themed "Integrate, Promote, 
Share", this year's festival allows the audience to interact online and 
offline, learning about the diverse and splendid cultural relics exhibitions, 
intangible cultural heritage displays, cultural performances and more from the 
Yangtze River Basin.

In 2014, BBC producer Simon Reeve recorded the colorful Yangtze River culture 
with his documentary 'Sacred River: Yangtze River' in which he also expressed 
his concerns about over-exploitation. It is a pity that he has never been to 
Zhangjiagang. Zhangjiagang is an indispensable choice for anyone who wants to 
understand the Yangtze River and the Chinese people living along it today.

Source: The Organizing Committee of Yangtze River Culture Festival

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   Caption: The view of Yangtze River in Zhangjiagang city

Yangtze River.jpg