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Asia

Published on September 26th, 2013 | by Ansel Wong

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Ni Hao Mas! Ni Hao Pan!

On Saturday 14th September 2013, China gave a hearty “Ni Hao” to a Trini inspired Mas Band and Steel Band from London.

With over 500,000 people lining the clean, wide streets and in excess of 200 million viewing on Chinese National TV watching,  64 performers from London was given pride of place at the Opening Parade of the 2013 Shanghai Tourism Festival.

The Elimu Carnival Band and the Nostalgia Steel Band, performing as The Tsingtac Mas Band, presented a show case highlighting the key features of Carnival – Music, Movement and Mas. Over 30 masqueraders in costumes from several London-based designers danced to the pulsating rhythms of Nostalgia Steel Band, the 2013 winning Pan Round De Neck orchestra at Notting Hill Carnival.

Led by Trinidadian–born Band Leader, Ansel Wong, this was the fifth performance in China promoting Carnival and with Pan on the streets of Shanghai, this was a first in China.

The Shanghai Tourism Festival, with a collage of flamboyant colour, echoing sounds and a mix of competition and celebration, is an event like no other!  Though similar in essence to the carnivals of both Port-of-Spain and London, the organisation and scale of the event was fascinating, as was the parade as solely a night-time spectacle!  The most discernable difference was the entourage of over 30 large competing and mesmerising mobile floats beautifully illuminated and adorned with hundreds of halogen bulbs.  They depicted cultures within China and around the world, with native scenes and characters such as giant moving crabs (fake, not curried)!

The band was joined by a number of Caribbean students studying in China and those that could not make it, vowed to be there next year.

China Carnival

Mas and Pan in China was a success. Dr Shen Shanzhou, Vice Chairman of The Shanghai Municipal Tourism Administration commended the band for its performances and presented it with an award of commendation. In return, the Band presented the officials of the City Administration with bottles of Angostura 1824, Mount Gay Extra Old and copies of the T&T Gold Book.

We are all looking forward to a repeat performance in 2014 when the spectacle of Pan, Tassa and Mas is being planned to promote the whole of the Caribbean as a region of culture excellence and Festivals. Performances are being planned in other cities such as Beijing and Xuan.

Tsingtac Mas Band acknowledges support from the T&T High Commission in London, The Barbados Tourist Board, Hansib Publications and Flight Connection.

China

Victoria Lenzoi Lee                                                              Ansel Wong

Designer                                                                                Tour Manager

 


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