Chinese reality shows foster cross-cultural experiences for performers, audience
Published: Dec 05, 2023 11:19 PM
Divas Hit the Road poste Photo:Sina Weibo

Divas Hit the Road poste Photo:Sina Weibo

Chinese reality shows have been actively exploring international markets in recent years, offering a new window for the world to "see" China. Through innovative and relatable formats, the shows have resonated with audiences worldwide, helping promote Chinese culture overseas and contributing to closer cultural exchanges. 

For example, the ongoing broadcast of the Chinese reality show Divas Hit the Road produced by Mango TV has ignited a cultural fervor surrounding the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The latest episode showing Chinese Uygur actress Dilraba Dilmurat's stunning ethnic dance performance in Croatia not only earned praise from netizens worldwide but also garnered recognition from Chinese diplomats.

Pic Photo: Mango TV

Photo: Courtesy of Mango TV

"Dilraba, wearing Chinese Xinjiang clothing and dancing Xinjiang dance, is shining brightly," Wang Wenbin, a spokesperson from the Chinese Foreign Ministry, wrote in a post containing a clip from the show on Sunday. 

The official X accounts of the Department of Latin American and Caribbean Affairs of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Chinese Embassy in Croatia, the Chinese Embassy in Argentina, and some other Chinese embassies, as well as Xue Jian, the Chinese Consul General in Osaka, also shared the post.

Starting its journey from the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Beijing, the program adopts a "study tour" format. The show's guests visited some enterprises involved in key Belt and Road cooperation projects overseas, and participated in local customs and lifestyles during their travels, fostering cross-cultural connections.

Media reported that after the tour in Saudi Arabia was broadcast, a wave of "Silk Road" fever was set off, and searches for "Saudi Arabia" on domestic tourism platforms witnessed a staggering 772 percent month-on-month increase.

Through down-to-earth travel exploration, domestic viewers witnessed the real lives of families in the BRI partner countries. 

Divas Hit the Road takes the grand theme of the BRI and breaks it down into resonant life details through a vibrant lens, making it accessible to a broad audience.

Other cultural reality shows, such as the experiential program Chinese Restaurant Season 7, which opened a Chinese restaurant in Hungary, have chosen a classic business model to expand their influence. By inviting guests from the Chinese Embassy in Hungary and the Hungarian National Tourism Office, they enhance the impact of the show and promote Chinese cuisine and culture in the European country.

Another reality show, Street Dance of China Season 4, captured the attention of global dancers by inviting many international dancers to join in the street dance feast. Chinese dancers seamlessly integrated traditional culture into their performances, leaving a lasting impression on both fellow dancers and a broader audience. The fusion of Eastern and Western elements in dance not only amazed participants but also showcased that different cultures can interact and blend. 

The integration of traditional culture into street dance opens up new possibilities, making it more inclusive and diverse.

Through creative and relatable designs, these Chinese reality shows bring traditional culture into people's hearts, strongly resonating with the audience and spreading understanding between Chinese and foreign cultures, and solidifying the concept of "a global community with a shared future."

The author is a reporter with the Global Times.