Chengdu named cultural city with most Chinese characteristics

Parent Category: Recommendations
Category: On the Footsteps of Zhuge Liang in China: Places to visit

After being rewarded with the "best tourism city", "happiest city" and "supreme honorary award of China's model city for people's livelihood", Chengdu had done it again, taking away the "China's cultural city" gong. Under the guidance of the State Council Information Office and the Ministry of Culture and National Tourism Administration, CRI Online officially launched the public appraisal results of "2011 Chinese city rankings - China's cultural cities recommended by the netizens around the world" yesterday. After two months of voting, netizens around the world casted over 5 million votes to select the "top 10 cultural cities in China". They were Beijing, Chengdu, Xi'an, Nanjing, Lhasa, Dali, Guangzhou, Guilin, Pingyao and Qingdao, among which Chengdu, only second to Beijing, obtained almost 150,000 votes.

Among over 5 million votes, the votes from the overseas netizens accounted for 65.84 percent. As pointed out by the organizing committee, after the launch of "2011 Chinese city rankings", the campaign was displayed to the outside world in 26 languages. More than 10 foreign media companies participated. The campaign has experts' nominations, city recommendations and votes cast over SMS and online into consideration since April. Therefore it can be concluded that overseas netizens find Chinese cities fascinating and cultural.

During the voting stage, netizens were already attracted to the uniqueness of Chengdu. "Love tea, adventures and spicy food; I'm the cultural city for leisure and heaven for "adventurers"; visit the age-old alley and go to teahouse; I'm the cultural city for traveling and leisure; see Sichuan opera, Sichuan brocade and visit Memorial Temple of Zhuge Liang; I'm the cultural city with age-old history; land of abundance and Kingdom of Shu - I'm Chengdu!" From the official voting website, we could see Chengdu was proving very fashionable.

Several cultural celebrities formed the judging committee. For this year's selection of Chinese city rankings, the judges comprised of various authoritative experts from different fields. For instance, Li Wufeng, director-general of Linked Office of the Sate Council Information Office, Ma Weigong, deputy editor of China Radio International and Dai Bin, president of China Tourism Research Institute.

It was reported that Professor Yu Dan from School of Art and Communication of Beijing Normal University and Chief Editor Li Jingze from People's Literature participated in the selection and appraisal of "2011 Chinese City Rankings" for the first time. Also, the senior foreign expert Tang Yun became one of the juror team members. Thus, the appraisal result was made known yesterday under the netizens' voting and their nomination. With the diplomats' favorable views, the ceremony of Chinese city rankings will be held in September. "2011 Chinese city rankings" aims to introduce Chinese culture to global netizens. The results were widely accepted by all walks of life at home and abroad. The diplomats from Russia, India, Canada and Israel all gave positive comments on this activity.

"The 'Chinese city rankings' is a very good original idea!", said Murcia, cultural counselor of the embassy of Poland in Beijing. This is a good propaganda for China's cultural cities. It reminds people of what Chinese cities have to offer the world. As indicated by Murcia, the launching of city rankings will raise the discussion on urban culture and cultural heritage in China, to allow people to think over the meaning of cultural heritage. It will also boost tourism development. Also, David Mulroney, Canadian ambassador to China, points out that Canadian people will be encouraged to learn more about this activity as well as the cities with Chinese characteristics.

It is reported that the sponsor will hold the ceremony of 2011 Chinese city rankings - "Cultural city with most Chinese characteristics" in Beijing this September. At that time, relevant leaders, representatives of shortlisted cities, tourism experts & cultural celebrities, foreign ambassadors to China and representatives of foreign agencies in China will all attend the prize giving ceremony Reasons for winning the selection - Chengdu meets five factors.

As learnt from the sponsor yesterday, the selected cities need to meet five factors to win the public appraisal on China' s famous cultural cities. So, how does Chengdu meet these five factors? Here, the person in charge of the organizing committee for "2011 Chinese city rankings - China's famous cultural cities recommended by the netizens around the world" described Chengdu in detail.

Factor I: Diversified cultural connotations
Chengdu is an open city that intends to attract various cultures and seek originality. Kaimingshi introduced the Jingchu culture to Sichuan; Qin Dynasty introduced Guanzhong culture and advanced commerce & industry from the six states to Sichuan; Wen Weng sent Sichuan people to the capital to learn about Central Plains culture; Yang Xiu, king of Sichuan in Sui Dynasty invited eminent monks from the Central Plains to Sichuan, so that Chengdu became one of the Buddhism centers; Emperor Xuanzong and Emperor Xizong in Tang Dynasty visited Sichuan successively. During their visits, they were accompanied by a lot of poets, painters, singers and technicians from all walks of life.

Factor II: Living cultural heritage
Traditional culture should be integrated with people's daily life. This is the best way to protect traditional culture. Throughout history, rich cultural heritage in Chengdu was not only kept, but also blended into people's daily life. The most famous ones should be Sichuan brocade, Sichuan opera and teahouse culture. Nowadays, such "face changing" and "fire spiting" teachings have been developed into specialized schools.

Factor III: Diversified cultural activities
Famous cultural cities shall be supported with diversified cultural activities. Chengdu is very attractive because of her colorful cultural activities and beautiful living environment. Chengdu people love sightseeing. Take the famous words of the great writer Su Dongpo as an example, "Sichuan people who are indulged in sightseeing always forget to return". The Lantern festival and flower show are held downtown each spring, which can attract a flood of tourists. In the suburban area, the Longquan peach blossom show and Dujiangyan Qingming water festival can lure many tourists. These folk fairs are not only held for Chengdu people, but good opportunities for tourists and folklore scholars to go sightseeing. In addition, the temple fair in Chengdu is an outstanding cultural name card for the city.

Factor IV: Innovative cultural industry
Creative culture is the key factor in urban diversification. Chengdu culture is the most distinguished culture, while its pastoral style leisure life is the most fascinating lifestyle. Nowadays, these features have penetrated into innovative industry with cutting- edge culture in Chengdu, such as industrial design, advertising design and media industry.

Factor V: Open cultural exchange
Chengdu has been an open city for a long time. It has tens of sister cities around the world, such as Montpellier of France, Ljubljana of Slovenia, Linz of Austria and Palermo of Italy.

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