‘Tea for Harmony – Yaji Cultural Salon’ in Copenhagen Showcases Splendor of Chinese Tea Culture

On June 14, “Tea for Harmony: Yaji Cultural Salon” took place at the China Cultural Center in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The special event was organized in collaboration between the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, the Chinese Embassy in Denmark, the China Cultural Center in Copenhagen and the Europe-Asia Center.

Presented under the theme of “Tea for Hygge,” the event captivated by showcasing the flavors of Chinese tea heritage in a tranquil atmosphere that represented the true comfort of hygge (which means cozy in Danish and Norwegian).

In his opening address, Rui Hong, deputy secretary of the Party Group and deputy director-general of the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, extended a warm welcome to all the distinguished guests at the event. He highlighted the long-standing history of tea and tea craftmanship in the province of Zhejiang, one of the birthplaces of Chinese civilization.

Zhejiang prides itself on the “traditional tea processing techniques and associated social practices in China,” Hong explained, which have been included as one of the first on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Hong shared how Denmark successfully combines tradition with modernity and noted that Denmark’s unique cultural atmosphere has a strong resemblance to Chinese tea culture. He also said that exchanges like “Tea for Harmony” might serve as a bridge, promoting cultural exchanges between China and Europe.

‘Tea For Harmony – Yaji Cultural Salon’ in Copenhagen
Dignitaries at the "Tea For Harmony – Yaji Cultural Salon" event in Copenhagen (Photo: Courtesy of Europe-Asia Center)

Coinciding with the 73rd anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Denmark, as well as the 15th anniversary of the China-Denmark comprehensive strategic partnership, He Fuxiang, counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Denmark, highlighted China’s long history of tea. He said that whether in ancient times through the Silk Road or in today’s globalized world, Chinese tea serves as a link between the Chinese people and the world.

The inaugural “Tea for Harmony” event also featured Erik Solheim, vice chairman of the Europe-Asia Center, who emphasized Zhejiang tea culture’s historical importance and influence, as well as Zhejiang’s future as a globally recognized ecotourism destination.

In his speech, Zheng Wen, director of the China Cultural Center in Copenhagen, highlighted the essence of nature, communication, and mutual understanding that is inherent in the act of drinking tea. He explained that the term “Yaji” refers to the ancient gatherings, where literati and scholars enjoyed tea, appreciated the moon, recited poetry, and engaged in intellectual discussions. Wen extended a warm invitation to friends from all spheres of life in Denmark, inviting them to embark on a spontaneous journey to visit Zhejiang.

Tea for Hygge in Denmark

The exhibition, themed “Tea for Hygge,” was comprised of five major sections: “Hygge of Color,” “Hygge of Fragrance,” “Hygge of Melody,” “Hygge of Scrolls” and “Hygge of Creation.”

These five sections artfully embodied the unique tea experience cherished by the Chinese people. “Hygge of Colors” presented the ever-changing hues of tea, complemented by exquisite tea utensils. “Hygge of Fragrance” focused on showcasing diverse tea aromas. “Hygge of Melody” used digital devices to showcase classical tea poetry and music. “Hygge of Scrolls” displayed ancient and contemporary tea books from China and around the world, while “Hygge of Creation” exhibited creatively designed tea derivatives, including innovative tea wares, tea snacks, tea beverages, and various other categories.

Danish tea culture expert and human physiology expert, Marcus Udsen Grandjean, also participated in the event and provided guests with in-depth insights around tea knowledge.

‘Tea For Harmony – Yaji Cultural Salon’ in Copenhagen
Guests at the "Tea For Harmony – Yaji Cultural Salon" in Copenhagen (Photo: Courtesy of Europe-Asia Center)

The event commenced with an enchanting “water sleeve” dance, performed by the exceptional artists of the Zhejiang Xiaobaihua Yue Opera Troupe. Artists also performed an excerpt from the Yue opera “The Butterfly Lovers – The Eighteen Miles Farewell.”

Rounding out the event, the audience was able to enjoy a promotional video showcasing the unique cultural and tourism features of Zhejiang, along with a performance of the Zhejiang folk song “Tea Picking Dance” (and arrangement for traditional instruments – zhongruan, flute, erhu and guitar). The musical performance offered a glimpse of the enchanting early spring scenery of Jiangnan, celebrating the artistry and lives of tea farmers.

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‘Tea For Harmony – Yaji Cultural Salon’ in Copenhagen
A performance at "Tea For Harmony – Yaji Cultural Salon" in Copenhagen (Photo: Courtesy of Europe-Asia Center)

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