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Exchange Faces, Chinese government partner on cultural promotion

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A cross section of guests at the show

An Abuja-based creative and cultural organisation, Exchange Faces, last weekend hosted the second edition of China/Nigeria Exchange programme. The cultural exchange show, performed with the support of Chinese Cultural Centre, was aimed at boosting relationship between both countries, especially in the area culture and creativity.

Some of the programmes include fashion show, food fair, musical performances, beverage swap, visual art exhibition as well as other side attractions. The beauty of the programme, however, was the cultural swap that encouraged exchange of events between both sides. While the Chinese were dressed in Nigerian indigenous fabrics and designs, Nigerians, who participated in the fashion show, also dressed in Chinese cultural attires.

There was also cuisine swap, which encouraged Nigerian guests to go for various Chinese cuisines displayed for the evening, while their Chinese counterparts were exposed to Nigerian cuisines from the three major ethic groups in the country. The various dishes served at the event were provided by Sinoni Chinese Restaurant and Re Chis eatery, as their contributions towards cultural promotion between the two countries.

Meanwhile, one of the topmost fashion houses in Abuja, Abada Fashion House, clothed the fashion pageants. In her remarks, Creative Director, Exchange Faces, Oghome Emembo, described the partnership between Exchange Faces and Chinese Cultural Centre, as a meaningful and innovative cross-cultural programme. According to her, the success of the previous edition necessitated some new additions in this year’s programmes, which include food and fashion swap.

According to her, “This is because we believe that fashion and food are very critical aspects of culture that can boost relationship among people of different cultural backgrounds. So, we had non-Nigerians taste Nigerian food and Nigerians tasting Chinese food. That way mutual understanding about each country’s food culture would be exposed and boosted.”

Oghome noted that the success of the maiden edition also led to an invitation from an outfit in Geneva, Switzerland, for the exhibition of Nigerian fabrics and designs. For Oghome, Nigeria has a lot to offer the world in terms of fashion and cuisine. She also found a lot of creativity in women’s fashion sense, especially the wrapper and the head gear, which she said speak volume of the resilience of an average Nigerian woman, who keeps moving ahead in spite of daunting challenges.

Director, Chinese Cultural Centre, Mr. Li Xuda, expressed the need for increase in cultural promotion in the country. While pledging commitment of his country towards cultural exchange, he said Nigeria is equally endowed with beautiful and diverse cultures capable of creating employment for the teaming populace.

Both Nigerians and Chinese, who spoke at the end of the food swap, agreed that there was not much difference in the food culture of both countries in terms of texture and nutritional content.

Rosemary Akwashiki of Abada Fashion House stated that the fashion house collaborated with Exchange Faces because of its desire to promote African culture and fabrics. According to her, the fashion house was inspired by anything African.



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