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July 20, 2021

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Home » District » Minhang

River cruise invites expats to join in celebrations marking centenary

MORE than 250 expatriate residents living in the Minhang town of Huacao boarded a Huangpu River cruise boat for a party to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China earlier this month.

The event was organized by the Huacao Jinfeng International Community Development Association, the Yuexing Culture Tourism Group and The Expatriate Center under the auspices of the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

The foreigners, from 30 countries and regions, were treated to local snacks and performances during their tour on the river.

Karen Chen, chairwoman of the Huacao Jinfeng International Community Development Association and Yuexing Culture Tourism Group, said the party was also meant as a toast to health, happiness and peace for everybody.

“A new century for the Party begins, and there will be more wonderful moments for us to commemorate and celebrate together,” she said.

She recalled how locals and internationals united to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One earth, a shared future,” she said. “Only when cultures and peoples talking to each other can we tide over all difficulties.”

Jing Ying, vice president of Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, reminded everyone that Shanghai hosted the founding of the Party in 1921. The city has witnessed such great achievements in the past 100 years, she said.

“Heading into another 100 years, we will continue to put people first, strengthen exchanges and mutual understanding with other countries, and work with all sectors of society to build a community with a shared future for mankind,” she said.

Wearing a qipao, the traditional Chinese dress, Karolina Pek, a music teacher at Shanghai American School and a resident of Huacao, performed a flamenco tango during the party.

Pek, who has worked in Shanghai since 1996, said she loves Chinese culture and owns 11 qipao, which she wears on special occasions.

“Shanghai has really changed a lot,” she said. “Before I first came here, I didn’t know anything about China. I had read an old copy of National Geography magazine on China, where I saw pictures of hundreds of people on bicycles, wearing Mao jackets. I was really surprised when I came here and found how lovely the people were and how interesting the history is. Chinese culture and food are amazing!”

She cited all the dramatic changes in the city that she has witnessed. The building boom. The 2010 Shanghai World Expo. The public spirit in fighting COVID-19.

“It’s really lovely to live here,” Pek said. “I’ve watched Shanghai grow. I feel it’s my home.”

She said she has read some books about the Party and its history, and she plans to visit revolutionary museums to learn a little bit more about China.

Ken Lee, honorary president of the Asian Rowing Federation, said he was happy to be in Shanghai to celebrate the Party centenary.

“It’s a historical moment,” he said. “I hope that in the next 100 years, the Party will shine brightly and encourage cooperation with all the world.”

Lee has come to China periodically to promote the sport of rowing. This year he is working with students in Huacao, where five schools have joined in a rowing program.

“My hope is that Huacao will become a mecca for junior rowing in China and Asia,” he said.


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