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Foreign guests take helter-skelter tour of Wuxi

Updated : 2017-06-13
(chinadaily.com.cn)

It is upon stepping back onto terra firma that Jacob Daniels makes a poetic assessment of Wuxi's romantically lit nighttime city streets, one that will encapsulate the weekend visit to the historic East China settlement.

"It feels like you are wandering among the bones of history," he says standing beside the wood-paneled ferry that has just transported him and a group of thirty odd foreign guests down the 1,500-year-old Grand Canal. The charm of Liangxi, the city's centrally located historic district, it seems, has made an immediate impression.

The New Zealand native looks at the tastefully aging houses that line Nanchang Street, one of Wuxi's culturally illuminating thoroughfares, and receives acknowledgment from some of the overseas visitors are joining him on the tour. The street is atmospherically lined with trees, a protective measure adopted in the wake of 16th century Japanese pirate attacks. Here, the gathering is only metaphorically raiding culture.

Daniels is taking part in a "Foreigner's View of Jiangsu" visit to the storied city of Wuxi, once home to some of East China's most thriving silk, rice, and pottery markets and the weekend will see the contingent, many of whom are students and teachers in Nanjing, the provincial capital, delve deep into the city's ancient culture.

The gathered visitors span from a wealth of nations as diverse as Venezuela and Nepal and yet seem single minded in their appreciation for the organizational skills of Liangxi District and the Information Office of the Jiangsu Provincial People's Government. From June 9 to 10 the group will visit four museums, two scenic gardens, an old town, and experience "600 loves" a high-octane performance exhibiting a panoply of opera styles.

Following the exploits of the first evening, which included a canal ride and a visit to a museum celebrating the ancient pottery traditions of the city, the morning of the tenth sees the full assembly gather for the opening ceremony and a series of warm hearted speeches given by the personable Cai Wenyu, deputy director of the Publicity Department of Wuxi Municipal Committee of CPC, and Qin Yongxin, deputy secretary of Liangxi District Committee of CPC.

The pair express their sincere hope that the 30-odd foreigners will fall in love with the city and spread the word of Liangxi's intoxicating qualities through tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram stories, WeChat updates, Weibo notifications, text messages to friends, and phone calls home.

The weekend gets underway with a convivial opening ceremony during which the assembled foreign guests pose for a photo to commemorate the occasion to take part in "Foreigners View of Jiangsu". [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

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