Foreigners visit the "Amoy's Memory" exhibition hall to learn the history of Zhongshan Road and Xiamen. [Photo provided to en.fao.xm.gov.cn]
Ahead of the 2024 Chinese New Year, the Foreign Affairs Office of Xiamen Municipal People's Government organized the 2024 Spring Festival event titled "Together for a Good Start 'Xiamen Now' Loong Year Gathering" to create a festive atmosphere for expatriates to celebrate the Chinese New Year in Xiamen.
On Jan 27, 22 foreigners from 15 countries participated in the event. They were taken to the century-old commercial street Zhongshan Road, as well as historical establishments such as Jiangxia Ancestral Hall, Jinlu Jewelry, Huang Zehe Peanut Soup, and Babao Dan, to learn about the preservation and development of commercial civilization.
The foreign guests also participated in traditional Chinese New Year activities such as making lanterns, writing Spring Festival couplets, and tea ceremonies. They also sampled 60 varieties of Minnan snacks.
The event fostered a platform for exchange and interaction and provided an opportunity to listen to suggestions and opinions on Xiamen's international development.
The city walk started at Xiamen's century-old Jiangxia Ancestral Hall. "I never expected to find this historical gem hidden behind the modern shopping malls!" said Sinazo Mazomba, a foreign teacher from South Africa.
When the foreign visitors arrived at the "Amoy's Memory" exhibition hall in Xiamen, they delved into the history of Zhongshan Road and Xiamen through old photographs. Dr. Manu, a senior R&D engineer from Rwanda working in Xiamen Canco Biotech, took many pictures, saying, "To truly enter a city, we must understand its history."
"I have only been in China for two months. I originally came for music, for Gulangyu Island. However, as soon as I arrived in Xiamen, I did not want to leave. I now have a better understanding of Xiamen's history and have developed a richer emotional connection with the city," said Clint Wensley, president of CREW Music Asia, from Canada.
China now enjoys comprehensive mutual visa exemption with 23 countries after reaching an agreement on mutual visa exemption with Thailand on Jan 28.
China and Thailand signed an agreement on mutual visa exemption for holders of ordinary passports and passports for public affairs on Jan 28.