VIPs pose for a snapshot before nine dragons
The Sino-American Friendship Association (SAFA), Sino-American Culture and Art Foundation (SACAF), and the New York Mets gave fans an evening filled with Chinese culture on September 26th at Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets, during a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The event featured China and Chinese culture during the mid-autumn festival which is considered as one of the most important Chinese holidays of the year. This was the fourth annual “An Evening of Chinese Culture” sponsored by SAFA and SACAF with a theme of eastern culture meets western sports. The night started off with the traditional nine dragons dance, which represented the nine organizers and liaison institutions and the nine main Mets players. Chinese ambassador Sun, Guoxiang opens the game with a ceremonial first pitch. Other performances included traditional Chinese dances and Kung-fu, and the painting of a horse by world renowned calligraphist Master Yuan, Xikun. These performances attracted the attention of American baseball fans and intensified the energy in the stadium. Many fans expressed that it was very meaningful to be able to experience the Chinese culture during an American baseball game, and hope to have more of these opportunities.
Prior to the opening ceremony, a unique, high profile VIP reception had brought together the American and Chinese business executives and community leaders to highlight the event’s impact and recognize the communities’ efforts to foster the mutual understanding between American and Chinese through the arts and culture. At the reception right before the night’s event, Mr. Xue, YaPing, Director of China National Tourism said that 2012 was the year of the dragon, which to Chinese all over the world, symbolizes luck and happiness, bravery and strength, and most of all respect and festivity. No matter where they are, every Chinese is a successor of the dragon. The success in promoting the Chinese culture and traditions represent the joint effort of overseas Chinese to elevate the Chinese status and image within the American society. In the end of the night, the baseball team’s executive vice president Dave Howard presented a special jersey printed with their names to both Ambassador Sun, Guoxiang, consul general of the Consulate General of PRC in New York and Mr. Peter Zhang of Sino-American Friendship Association.
Sun, Guoxiang, consul general of Consulate General of PRC in New York (Left), Peter Zhang, President of Sino-American Friendship Association (Right), adding a decorative touch to a dragon puppet that is part of the Chinese cultural presentation preceding the New York Mets' home game
World renowned Chinese art master Yuan Xikun demonstrating a traditional Chinese brush-drawing during the game
The event was greatly supported by the China National Tourist Office in New York, American Chinese Commerce Development Association, Beijing Jin Tai Art Museum, China Press, China Eastern Airlines, Fujian Southeast Net, Fujian Association, American Fujian Association of Commerce and the Chinese Communities of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania and executive representatives from the organizations attended the opening ceremony.
Ambassador Sun Guoxiang (Left), Counsel General of Consulate General of PRC in New York Peter Zhang (Right), President of Sino-American Friendship Association receive Mets jerseys from Dave Howard (Middle), New York Mets Executive Vice-President
The event was a great celebration merging Eastern culture and Western sports. Mets Baseball is the perfect platform for “An Evening of Chinese Culture” as it promoted an increased understanding and friendship between U.S. and China. The event was covered by over 50 major media outlets and was broadcasted in China. The event provided participants with access to a broad network of culture and businesses that will exemplify Chinese and American excellence in a number of disciplines.