Greece and China can learn a lot from each other by joining forces in culture

Greece and China can learn a lot from each other by joining forces in culture, Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou told Xinhua.

A few weeks after the official launch of the China-Greece Cultural Exchanges and Cultural Industry Cooperation Year in Athens, the Greek official talked about the prospects of Greek-China collaboration in this field and culture’s role in facilitating and promoting relations among peoples.

She shared her experience from her three visits to China and her dream about bringing younger generations closer to Greece’s rich cultural heritage.

An acclaimed actress and director specializing in ancient Greek drama, Koniordou first visited Beijing in 2004 with the National Theater of Greece to perform “Antigone” of Sophocles. She will never forget the standing ovation the audience gave to the Greek artists, she said.

In 2014 and 2015 she was invited by Shanghai Theater Academy to do a workshop on ancient Greek drama and then direct a performance of ancient Greek drama by third-year students.

“We believe that our ancient culture, Greek tragedy is part of the world heritage now and can really throw a light to different cultures. It is not just Greek,” she told Xinhua.

“So we applied this play into Chinese reality and that was a wonderful experience,” she said.

Koniordou started learning Chinese for this course and gradually discovered more and more links between the two countries. She found analogies in culture, philosophy and art, and felt like home in her Chinese world.

“We believe that there are a lot of things that we can learn from each other. When I was in Shanghai the proof that we have so much in common is how I communicated especially with the younger generation, but also the teachers and the faculty in a very immediate way,” she noted.

“We had no barrier in our communication and this was wonderful. I felt we have so many things that we can exchange,” she stressed.