|Consul General Hong Lei Attended Press Conference for 2018 "Happy Chinese New Year" Events|
On January 17, the City of Chicago held a press conference for the 2018 “Happy Chinese New Year” events in the Chicago Culture Center. Consul General Hong Lei, Deputy Consul General Liu Jun, Deputy Mayor of Chicago Robert Rivkin, Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events Mark Kelly, CEO of Choose Chicago David Whitaker and representatives from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Bulls, Chicago Chinese Fine Arts Society, Chicago Huaxing Arts Troupe and media attended the event.
In the speech, Consul General Hong Lei said that culture is the soul of a nation. Different cultures become more colorful and splendid as they engage with and learn from each other. The 4000-year-long Spring Festival is the most important traditional festival of the Chinese nation, encapsulating Chinese people’s affection, tradition and value. In recent years, various celebrations have been held in different places in the world including the US. As the first city that organizes city-wide Spring Festival celebrations in the official name of City Government, Chicago has hosted the “Happy Chinese New Year” activities for four consecutive years, an exemplary of Chicago’s aspiration to become the most friendly city to China in the whole country. China sincerely appreciates the efforts by the Chicago City Government.
Consul General Hong Lei said that China and the US are both major influential countries in the world and that cultural exchanges are an important foundation for bilateral ties. The “Happy Chinese New Year” activities have become an iconic culture exchange event between China and the US Midwest. There are many highlights in the 2018 Chicago “Happy Chinese New Year “activities. The Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra and Chongqing Sichuan Opera Theatre will perform in the Chicago symphony center, the Art Institute of Chicago will hold “Mirroring China’s Past: Emperors and Their Bronzes exhibition”, and the Chicago Bulls will stage Chinese Spring Festival celebrations during games. These activities will surely enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries and make positive contribution to bilateral relations.
Deputy Mayor Rivkin said in his speech that Chicago and China have been maintaining sound cooperation for a long time. In Chicago. The Chinese community in Chicago is quite vibrant and the Chinese culture has become an indispensable component in the fabric of Chicago culture. The “Happy Chinese New Year” activities provide good opportunities for Chicago citizens and visitors to appreciate the Chinese culture. He believes that the 2018 Spring Festival celebrations will be warmly welcomed by all.
CEO Kelly said that this year marks the fourth consecutive year that Chicago has held the Chinese Spring Festival celebration activities. The activities have made a wide and positive impact on Chicago citizens. He wishes the diverse and colorful Chinese cultural activities will bring a festive holidays to the Chicago citizens.
CEO Whitaker said that the “Happy Chinese New Year” activities are a demonstration of the special friendship between Chicago and China. In 2017, Chinese visitors to Chicago reached 224,000, 40% more than last year. Chicago has abundant cultural and tourism resources and he wishes that the “Happy Chinese New Year” activities will further improve the exchanges and cooperation between Chicago and China.
At the press conference, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Bulls and Chicago Chinese Fine Arts Society introduced their celebration activities for the 2018 Happy Chinese New Year.