City of Seattle has 21 sisters. Each year the Seattle Sister Cities host a reception as part its efforts to promote cultural, business, and educational exchanges. Four cities are honored each year, and their culture showcased. This year the 14th annual award reception last Thursday April 29 honored Chongqing, China; Mazatlan, Mexico; Pecs, Hungary; and Mombasa, Kenya.

City of Seattle has 21 sisters. Each year the Seattle Sister Cities host a reception as part its efforts to promote cultural, business, and educational exchanges. Four cities are honored each year, and their culture showcased. This year the 14th annual award reception last Thursday April 29 honored Chongqing, China; Mazatlan, Mexico; Pecs, Hungary; and Mombasa, Kenya.

 

The reception opened with Bokreta – a dance from Hungary, and Chinese traditional and martial arts dances by Huaying Performing Arts. The performances were followed by remarks from the event’s host, Bill Stafford – President of Trade Development Alliance, as well as Mayor McGinn, City Council President Richard Conlin, and Icelandair’s Beth Ann Young.

 

One of this year’s awards, 2009 Best Single Project, was presented to the Seattle-Gdynia association. The business week program the group sponsored in Gdynia, which is also the first international Business Week program, contributed to the winning of the award. Debra Markert, president of Seattle-Gdynia Sister City Association, received the award from Mayor Mike McGinn and Council member Sally Clark.

 

Several more speakers expressed their gratitude for the sister city program, including Deputy Consul General Lu Wenxiang of China, Consul Marisela Quijano of Mexico, and Hon. Consul Helen Szablya of Hungary; which was followed by Mexican dance Bailadores de Bronce and Sukutai Music and Dance Company from Kenya and Zimbabwe.

 

In an interview following the reception, president of Seattle-Chongqing Sister City Association Hong Qi Wagner mentioned one of their current projects – Seattle Chinese Garden. Even though its construction projects are still ongoing, it hosts many free tours to promote the Chinese culture. Its Chinese name is 知春園, literally means “Knowing the Spring Courtyard”. The garden is set to open sometime in 2011. It will then continue to serve as a center for Seattle-Chongqing cultural, business, and educational exchanges.

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