Feb 23, 2017, 10:16 AM
The Hung-Sheng Lion Dance theatre group of Taiwan arrived in the country last weekend and were on Monday welcomed by the Taiwanese ambassador to the Gambia HE Richard Shih and the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Fatou Mass Jobe Njie. At a welcome ceremony held at the Taiwanese Embassy in Bakau, the group made a spectacular performance, which was just a small show of what they have in store for the Kanilai festival.
Speaking at the occasion, Ambassador Shih said that the cultural group is in the country at the invitation of the organizers of the 5th Kanilai International Cultural Festival.
The 12-member delegation would also attend the Jermaine Jackson Mega Concert at the Independence Stadium in Bakau, and to help celebrate the birthday of President Yahya Jammeh, as well as Africa Liberation Day.
According to the chief Taiwanese diplomat in Banjul, the cultural troupe is one of the best troupes in Taiwan, and the group have already made a name for themselves both in Taiwan and abroad.
The coming of the troupe, he said, is to also share culture with the West African sub-region, and forms part of the cultural exchange programme between the two countries. "We are brothers and sisters and, as a result, we need to learn and share each other's culture", Ambassador Shih said.
The troupe under the leadership of Yuan Jung Chang was founded in 1988, and has been performing both at home and abroad including in the US, Canada, France, and Berlin Germany, just to name a few.
The Hung-Sheng troupe's performance has been described as unique, in the sense that they not only preserve the essence of traditional folk art, but breathe new life into it. They shine in both traditional temple festivals and modern theatres, according to a press release issued by the Taiwanese embassy in Banjul.
Monday's display saw the troupe performing the Lion Dance, which also goes along with drumming.
"This is amazing, I'm really excited", exclaimed the Tourism and Culture Minister, Fatou Mass Jobe Njie, about the performance of the troupe.
She thanked the group through ambassador Shih for coming to participate in the Kanilai Festival. The festival, she said, started at a low pace, but today has become a mega international cultural event.
The festival seeks, among others, to promote peace and understanding among peoples of the world.
Meanwhile, at the end of the performance, ambassador Shih treated the Tourism and Culture Minister, the group and the press to refreshments.