Beijing Culture Forum brings a feast of cultural events
New window for exchanges
Published: Sep 14, 2023 09:56 PM
2023 Beijing Culture Forum  Photo: VCG

2023 Beijing Culture Forum Photo: VCG

Themed "inheriting cultural legacies and promoting exchanges and cooperation," the 2023 Beijing Culture Forum opened on Thursday in Beijing. 

The two-day forum is committed to advancing cultural exchanges with five themed forums and an array of cultural activities that are set to last until October. A report on the development of Chinese culture was also released on Thursday. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping sent a congratulatory letter to the 2023 Beijing Culture Forum on Thursday. 

Various activities are being held as part of the forum, including the Ditan Book Fair, which reopened recently after a 10-year absence. 

This year, the forum has been upgraded to a national and international forum, which opens a new important window for the country to carry out cultural exchanges and mutual learning among civilizations across the world. 

Over 600 participants from home and abroad will hold in-depth talks at the five themed forums covering conservation and inheritance of cultural heritage, empowering culture with technology, shaping the human mind, integrating culture and tourism, and mutual learning among civilizations.

Zhang Yiwu, a professor with Peking University, told the Global Times that raising the profile of the forum will expand its influence in promoting mutual learning between civilizations. 

The forum provides a broad platform for exchanging and exhibiting the innovation of Chinese culture and arts in the new era. The forum helps China's voice in culture be heard across the whole country and the world, said Fan Di'an, president of the China Artists Association.

As the national cultural center, Beijing has promoted the protection of the old city with the Central Axis project and carried out more than 100 cultural relics restoration projects. A total of 11 national culture and technology integration demonstration bases have been put into operation to empower the thriving cultural industry, according to the organizer of the forum. 

The forum also marked the beginning of a cultural carnival that invites people of all ages to engage in a diverse range of activities, including the Ditan Book Fair; October Literacy Month, a gala show at the former Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics venue Big Air Shougang; the Drama Performance Season and Beijing Cultural Consumption Season. 

Li Xiaochuan, a 40-year-old Beijing resident, told the Global Times that the return of the book fair, which dates back to the 1990s, is a feast for book lovers.

"I'm happy to see the reopening of the book fair as it's an iconic cultural event that has been held in Beijing since decades ago. It evokes childhood memories of selecting books with friends when the lines of gingko trees in the park turn gold. I think the book fair will provide a fresh impetus to the capital's cultural life," said Li.

Over 400,000 kinds of books have been put on sale at discounts up to 90 percent off at the fair, which has drawn some 100,000 daily visitors since it opened on September 8. 

The cultural consumption season is also designed to benefit the public by distributing 10,000 coupons each worth 100 yuan ($13.8) as 30 classic dramas, including dance dramas, operas, musicals and concerts will be staged for audiences.

"One special thing about the Beijing Culture Forum is how it combines literature, art, intangible cultural heritage and humanistic studies together to convey a voice that speaks for all of us," said Chen Pingyuan, director of the Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University.