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August 1, 2011

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Creative kids make own global village

THOUSANDS of children from 17 countries and regions gathered at the Shanghai Grand Stage last night to celebrate the opening of the 2011 Shanghai International Children's Cultural and Art Festival.

Performances by children's art troupes from around the world created a mini global village on stage - including Maori, Philippine and Japanese dance.

Initiated by the China Welfare Institute in 1994, the festival takes "peace, friendship and future" as its theme. It is held every three years to encourage communication and cultural exchanges among children from different countries.

With the sub-theme of "better city better childhood," this year the festival also encourages children to exchange ideas about the environment.

"We hope the festival can provide a platform for kids to display the culture of their own countries while presenting their own vision of creating a green and low-carbon life," said Wang Luning, vice-chairwoman and chief executive of the China Welfare Institute.

She also hopes children will take on the role of "little ambassadors" to build up a bridge of friendship between the countries.

The 1,900 children from 48 art troupes will stay in Shanghai until Friday, participating in follow-up programs - such as exchange performances, a children's forum, art exhibitions and sightseeing tours - and learn more about each other's cultures.


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