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By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer

 

For 9 days in August, visitors to Mall of America (MOA) were able to literally Experience China without packing a suitcase or leave the United States. This event was sponsored by the China National Tourist Administration (CNTA), hosted by MOA and organized by CIAC Travel, a local travel agency specializing in travel to China.

 

By Greg Hugh, Staff Writer

For 9 days in August, visitors to Mall of America (MOA) were able to literally Experience China without packing a suitcase or leave the United States. This event was sponsored by the China National Tourist Administration (CNTA), hosted by MOA and organized by CIAC Travel, a local travel agency specializing in travel to China.

Experience China 2011 was launched with a gala dinner, entertainment and presentations by MOA representatives, Chinese travel executives and local government officials from the United States and China for 200 special invited guests from throughout the community and hospitality industry prior to its opening.  At the beginning of the festivities for the evening, a traditional lion dance was performed.  

The MC duties for the evening were handled by John Hines, a popular radio personality, and Ling Kuang, Assistant Manager of CIAC Travel who also provided translations as needed.  The two of them kept the evening moving along with their friendly banter and Kuang could make for a great professional MC if she should ever tire of her career in the travel industry.

Maureen Bausch, MOA Executive V.P., began the evening’s program by extending a gracious welcome to the distinguished guests from China and especially to Mr. Wang Zhi Fa from the CNTA who led the delegation. She also thanked Mr. Chu Maoming from the Chinese Consulate office in Chicago for attending.  “Over one million visitors will attend Experience China over the next ten days and see what an incredible country China is” she stated.

The next speaker, Mr. Wang Zhi Fa from CNTA’s main office in Beijing through the translator, proposed a toast to the friendship of United States and China, the health of all attendants, and the success of the event.  

Next to speak was Gene Winstead, Mayor of Bloomington who also welcomed the guests from China. He proceeded to expound on the many great attributes of Bloomington and how visitors from China would enjoy all that it offers. He continued that “Equally important are American guests who will enjoy Experience China during the next 10 days and become motivated to visit China. The activities we are seeing at the dinner tonight are a great preview of the energy and excitement that our friends from China will bring to the Mall for this incredible event.”

Chu Maoming mentioned the importance of Minneapolis to the Consulate in Chicago, and it was his desire to open an office here. He also stated “The three most important tasks for China are to seek ‘Development, Stability and Friendship’.”

This special preopening event at MOA’s Great Hall came to an end with the drawing for many door prizes provided by many of the various Chinese travel organizations that make up CNTA.  The highlight of the prizes had a few lucky people winning all expense paid trips to China.

Experience China then continued for 9 days at MOA where visitors where able to enjoy

daily entertainment that was scheduled in the Rotunda that included the Forbidden City Fashion Show, Shaolin Kung Fu Show, Lion Dance, Chinese music played on the Guzheng, Erhu and Dulcimer, Acrobat Show, Peking Opera, Traditional Chinese Dance and Chinese Minority Dance.

Visitors then could continue their “journey” through China by stopping at the four themed court areas throughout level 1 of the Mall.  By visiting all of the courts, visitors could register to win a trip to China for 4 with a value of US$10,000 by getting the passports provided, stamped at each court.

The various courts featured different types of activities: 
♦  Sears Court:  Practice the ancient art of Tai Chi Chuan with a Tai Chi master and listen to live Guzheng music. 

♦  Nordstrom Court: discover your own Chinese name and create a calligraphy bookmark while also experiencing the fiddle-like music of the 2 stringed Chinese erhu. 

♦  Bloomingdale’s Court: watch or perform the ancient art of Chinese paper cutting and also participate in a Chinese tea ceremony. 

♦  Macy’s Court:  take a picture with a life size panda character and observe traditional folk dancers. 

If you weren’t lucky enough to be the grand prize winner of an all expense paid trip to China or didn’t get to visit MOA for this event, don’t be discouraged, you can still Experience China by visiting www.BestChinaHolidays.com or calling CIAC Travel at 952-881-1810.

 

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CHINAINSIGHT (CI) is published monthly ((except July/August and November/December are combined) by China Insight, Inc., an independent, privately owned company started in 2001 and headquartered in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota.

CHINAINSIGHT is the only English-language American newspaper to focus exclusively on connections between the United States and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

Our goal is to develop a mutual understanding of each other’s cultures and business environments and to foster U.S.-China cultural and business harmony.