Ugandans, Chinese enjoy temple fair in Kampala ahead of Spring Festival

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020 00:00 |
A Chinese dance troupe performs during a Chinese folk custom fair in Kampala, Uganda. (Xinhua/Hajarah Nalwadda)

Thousands of people including Ugandans, Chinese community members and foreigners living in the east African country on Sunday thronged Kololo ceremonial grounds in Kampala to enjoy the first ever Chinese folk custom fair, also known as temple fair.

It was fanfare as Ugandans and other foreigners walked through the journey of various Chinese cultures that were exhibited. For the Chinese community, although home is thousands of kilometers away, they still got a warm reminder of their cultural traditions.

Zhong Shuangquan, a Chinese investor in Uganda told Xinhua in an interview that holding the fair is important especially for the youthful Chinese who are overseas.

He said the fair helps to remind the youths born or studying overseas to cherish their traditional culture.

"Our culture is that no matter where you are, you will always go back home and gather with your family and celebrate the lunar New Year," Zhong said.

"Our young generation cannot go back to China to celebrate that is why the Chinese community in Uganda decided to organize the temple fair."

The stalls at the fair exhibited various cultures from different parts of China. Traditional Chinese dishes were a major highlight.

Chinese cultural performances like Kungfu and dances mixed with local Ugandan performances caught the attention of the revelers.

In an interview with Xinhua, Sylvia Kabatesi, a Ugandan reveler said she noticed some similarities in the way drums are played during Chinese and Ugandan cultural performances.

"I heard the way they beat their drum is similar to ours here. I liked the way Ugandans danced the traditional Chinese dances. It is good to see them do something from another country," Kabatesi said.

Tracy Hathorn, a foreign resident in Uganda who visited the show said she was amazed by the way the Chinese people relish their culture.

"I loved everything the minute I arrived here, it felt like I was back in China," she said.

Hathorn said culture is a key factor that describes a group of people.

Besides the Chinese products that were also exhibited, like construction equipment, a Chinese medical team was on ground administering among others ancient Chinese medicine.

"I have a frozen shoulder. I had a fracture in my shoulder so I could not move my hand backwards, but after this I can take it at least halfway through," Rahul Gajbhiye told Xinhua after getting treatment from the Chinese medical team at one of the stalls.

Gajbhiye said doctors have asked him to go to the China-Uganda Friendship Hospital twice a week so that his shoulder can be completely healed.

The temple fair was held ahead of the upcoming Chinese Spring Festival, or the Lunar New Year, which falls on Jan. 25 this year. (Xinhua)

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