Egypt’s Nile River embraces dragon boat race to celebrate Spring Festival

Chinese dragon boat race was held at Royal Mohamed Ali Club in Giza province, near Cairo, on February 24, 2018. (Xinhua/ Zhao Dingzhe)

As a part of Sino-Egyptian celebrations of Chinese New Year, dozens of Egyptians and Chinese gathered on Saturday at Royal Mohamed Ali Club in Giza province, near Cairo, to watch dragon boats racing on the Nile River.

The event was organized by Egyptian Friendship Association – Hong Kong, China-Egypt Friendship Association and the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo.

In addition to dragon boat racing, the event also featured dragon dance, delicious Chinese food and other fun activities for children.

“Such events provide both Chinese and Egyptians with a way to deepen our mutual understanding and strengthen our friendship,” Chinese Ambassador to Cairo, Song Aiguo, said during the event.

The ambassador said China is keen to introduce Spring Festival culture to the world, adding that Chinese Dragon Boat Festival will be held again in June.

“By this event we will conclude this year’s ‘Happy Chinese New Year’ series celebration events, but I see this as just a new beginning of cultural communication,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Ehab Gouda, co-founder of the Egyptian Dragon Boat Academy and one of the event organizers, said that he joins this celebration every year to share new year festival with his Chinese friends.

“This is very important not only to spread the Chinese culture in Egypt, but also to introduce our culture to the friendly Chinese people,” he said.

As the race started, guests were encouraged to cheer on the teams, which paddled on excitedly in search for victory.

“It is very interesting event…I have attended many Chinese-related events in Egypt, but dragon boat contests are always the best for me,” Hend Hassan, Project Development Consultant, said as she encouraged an Egyptian team.

She said that these events bring happiness to the hearts of the Egyptians who have started to pay special attention to Chinese celebrations in Egypt in the past few years.

After upgrading the relations between the two countries to a “comprehensive strategic partnership” in 2014, cultural exchange has been at its peak as artists, cultural and musical delegations have exchanged visits.

Through such cultural moves, Egypt and China want to boost friendly ties and enhance mutual understanding and future development between the peoples of the two nations, whose relations have deep roots back in history.

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