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Display of Shanxi culture dazzles guests at gala
Time: 06 30,2023      Source: China Daily

Guests give a thumbs-up to Shanxi snacks during the evening gala in Tianjin on June 26. [Photo by Liu Tong for China Daily]

The 14th Annual Meeting of the New Champions, also known as the Summer Davos Forum, was held in the coastal city of Tianjin from Tuesday to Thursday.

More than 1,500 participants from business, political and academic circles throughout the world attended the three-day event.

Prior to the event's opening, attendees from home and abroad were treated to an evening gala hosted by Shanxi on Monday, tasting the genuine food and experiencing the culture and arts hailing from the North China province.

The evening gala was hosted by the Shanxi provincial government and organized by Shanxi Conference Group and a number of institutions under the provincial government. Its aim was to bring the province's cultural and tourism attractions as well as business opportunities into the spotlight during the most important international business event of the month in China, according to local officials.

More than 40 food and beverage varieties, including snacks, fruits and alcoholic drinks, which were deliberately selected by Shanxi Conference Group, were offered to guests at the party.

More strikingly, the food was contained in utensils made with Shanxi's unique and time-honored techniques. These included hand-polished lacquerware from Pingyao county, porcelain tableware from Yangquan city and glassware from Qixian county.

There were also food-making shows on-site, giving guests an idea of how these delicious food varieties were prepared and served.

Wang Zhanglong, a master chef of the famed Shanxi daoxiaomian, or knife-cut noodle, was one of the most popular performers at the shows.

Balancing a huge bowl of flour on his head and hauling a single-wheel cart equipped with a stove and pot, his presence aroused cheers and applause among the guests.

With all the equipment in place, he began to cut strips of noodles with his hands. After one minute, a serving of noodles was ready.

Tian Yuan, chairman of Chinese medical equipment producer Mevion, was offered a bowl of noodles.

He said Shanxi has made a unique effort to attract the attention of global businesspeople attending the Summer Davos Forum.

"Pleasing one's taste buds is the first step to win one's heart," Tian said. "On my part, I'd like to have an extensive tour of Shanxi someday now that I discovered the appeal of Shanxi food."

A guest from Africa was also pleased by the Shanxi food. He gave his thumbs-up time and time again when trying some varieties as he was unable to speak Chinese.

In addition to food, Shanxi's offerings also included shows of intangible heritage, arts and music.

Guo Meihua, a master paper-cutter, created her artworks at the gala. A guest surnamed Wu requested a paper-cut silhouette featuring his profile.

"In only one minute, you have a silhouette of great resemblance," Wu exclaimed.

Other on-site cultural heritage shows also included the making of wood-carving paintings, lacquerware and others.

At the evening gala, Shanxi's hosts also introduced the province's business opportunities to guests, which include the current economic transformation, the energy revolution move and the development of characteristic towns with local specialty industries, as well as landmark tourist attractions.

Yan Jie and An Xiaoyi contributed to this story.


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