Greeks introduced to Chinese tea culture during Athens event
Published: May 07, 2023 09:22 PM
A tea cultural event was held in Athens on Saturday, enabling Greek guests to learn about the different varieties of tea and tea-making techniques and the concept of Yaji.

The event included a traditional tea ceremony, an exhibition on the history of tea and its role in people's lives in China, and other activities like music, dances and calligraphy.

The event was organized by the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism with the support of the Chinese Embassy in Greece and the Hellenic Foundation for Culture.

Yaji in Chinese means "gathering all that is elegant," said Wang Ying, cultural counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Athens. 

Ancient Chinese, in particular elites, enjoyed tea with music, calligraphy, and other cultural activities, she explained.

"Tea not only contains the traditional philosophy of ­China, that is, harmony between human beings and nature, but also serves as an important bridge between China and the world," Wang said.

Saturday's event was held on the occasion of the upcoming International Tea Day on May 21. 

In November 2022, the traditional Chinese tea processing techniques and associated social practice in China were listed as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

"The mutual learning between the two civilizations of China and Greece, two [representatives of] ancient civilizations, is an effective way to develop together," said Ren Ren, director of the China Cultural Center in Athens.

"Tea is a bridge between people. And I hope everybody in the West can find a way to understand that and realize that through this friendly ceremony, we can know each other and be friends forever," said Michalis Maniatis, a Greek artist who has traveled between Greece and China for the past two decades.