Chinese Kungfu kicks off New York Mets

Updated: 2013-09-15 05:30

By Hu Haidan and Amy He (

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The 5th annual An Evening of Chinese Culture hit Citi Field, the home of the New York Mets baseball team, on the evening of a game against the Miami Marlins on Friday.

The event featured kungfu and taichi performances from over 200 participants, led by 2-time world champion winner SitanChan and Chinese ribbon dance.

An Evening of Chinese Culture was sponsored by the Sino-American Friendship Association and the Sino-American Culture and Arts Foundation, created to give baseball fans insight into China through the country’s traditional cultural forms.

Among the dignitaries present were Sun Guoxiang, Chinese Consul General in New York, Peter Koo, Council Member of Queens, Margaret Lam, board of director of the New Jersey Chinese-American Chamber of Commerce, LuoDePaoli, executive vice president of the Mets, Xu Yaping, Director of China National Tourist Office in New York, Peter Zhang, President of Sino-American Friendship Association and Li Li, executive vice president of Sino-American Friendship Association and president of Sino-American Culture & Arts Foundation.

Sun threw the ceremonial first pitch for the game.

"I think a Chinese culture night will facilitate a culturalexchange between Chinese and Americans," said Sun. "Having a kungfu performance before the game is a wonderful way to promote Chinese culture," he added.

Li Li, executive vice president of Sino-American Friendship Association and president of Sino-American Culture & Arts Foundation, said it is a wonderful night for Chinese culture meets Western sport.

"I believe that language can be a barrier, but music and culture can meet and communicate without barrier and beyond boarders," Li said.

Koo, council member of Queens also attended the culture night.

"Flushing has the highest concentration of Asian-Americans in New York, so here is a great place to host culture event like this," he said.

The China National Tourism Office (CNTO) has been supporting the An Evening of Chinese Culture for three years.

Throughout the game, a video provided by the CNTO featuring China’s natural landscapes was shown throughout the stadium.

The event was hosted to coincide with Mid-Autumn Festival, which takes place on the 15th day of the eighth-month on the Chinese lunar calendar. It is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture when family members gather for celebrations that include carrying lanterns, performing dances and eating pastries named moon cakes.

Many US officials sent congratulatory letters to support the event, including ones from mayor Bloomberg ofNew York, governor Chris Christie of New Jersey, and governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut, among others.