Culture\Events and Festivals

Song-and-dance gala brings life to Children's Day

By Yan Dongjie | China Daily | Updated: 2017-06-02 08:10

Song-and-dance gala brings life to Children's Day

Wang Yuan (right) and Yi Yangqianxi sing at the International Children's Day gala.[Photo provided to China Daily]

The Chinese teen boy band TFBoys and Connie Talbot joined children from Italy, Russia, Pakistan, Kazakhstan and China, singing and dancing to celebrate International Children's Day in a gala show on China Central Television on Thursday.

Talbot, the 16-year-old vocalist who won fame on the reality show Britain's Got Talent in 2007, sang an English song, Cups-When I'm Gone, followed by Elfins, a new song by Wang Yuan and Yi Yangqianxi, members of TFBoys.

Wang Junkai, the other member of TFBoys, was absent. He was preparing for the college entrance examination next week.

Wang Yuan and Yi wished a happy Children's Day to kids all around the world, saying, "We should all do something that makes us happy ... study hard and also have fun".

They also wished "Good luck!" to their team leader and best friend, Wang Junkai, as well as all the students who are going to take the exams this year.

Children from countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative sang famous local songs in their own languages, such as Molihua from China, Kalinka from Russia, A Colorful Day from Italy, My Prairie from Kazakhstan and Let's Dance from Pakistan.

Hundreds of children from different countries then came together onstage to sing The Same Song in Chinese.

"This is about music making everyone come together from different countries," says Talbot. "It can represent the universal language for everyone and tie people closer."

International Children's Day is celebrated on June 1 in China and nearly 50 other countries. Some countries celebrate Children's Day on other days.

Talbot says the celebration is not as big in the United Kingdom as it is in Beijing.

"But we do have a Charity Base day, also called the Children's Day, when people wear bears to raise money for charity for children," she adds.

The tradition of celebrating the occasion with a CCTV Children's Gala spans more than 30 years. This year, children and teenagers from more than 10 countries were invited to Beijing to perform in the gala.

"We tend to make the celebration more international, give children around the world an opportunity to communicate, open up Chinese children's eyes and also let foreign kids learn more about China," says Yin Yongbin, director of the gala.

Virginia Franga and Francesca Zucchini, two 11-year-old girls from the Italian children's choir Piccolo Coro "Mariele Ventre" dell'Antoniano in Bologna, made some Chinese friends when rehearsing for the gala.

Giampaolo Cavalli, director of the choir, says he feels people are becoming closer since the Belt and Road Initiative was proposed by President Xi Jinping in 2013.

Cavalli is from Venice, an important port city on the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. This is Cavalli's third visit to China, and he is eager to come back more often with children's choirs.

"We see more stories coming to Venice from China. It's like Marco Polo's journey to China more than 700 years ago," says Cavalli.

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