Feature: BiH, Chinese children choirs give virtual performance with hope of friendship, peace
2020-10-13 15:16 | Xinhua News
As evening closed in, a music video appeared in a large outdoor LED screen on the landmark Sarajevo City Center in the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH).

In the four-minute music video, a group of children singers from both BiH and China, waving the two countries' national flags, were performing Ludwig van Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" with bright smiles on their faces.

The video, jointly produced by the children's choir Princess Krofne (Princess Donuts) in BiH and China's Children's Palace Choir in Wuxi, has also shown traditional architectures and beautiful sceneries in both countries, conveying the message of good wishes for closer friendships and a more peaceful future.

It was a part of the growing cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and BiH, and behind the collaboration, there is a moving story.

In August 2019, Wuxi Children's Palace Choir traveled to the European country and gave a musical performance. The choir was warmly welcomed by the BiH audience in the capital, while the Chinese children were also deeply impressed by the scenery and culture in BiH.

After the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the country in early March, the Wuxi choir launched a fund-raising event to donate money and anti-epidemic supplies to Bosnian children.

"Within 24 hours, we had collected enough money to buy 40,000 masks," said Wang Weishu, head of the Wuxi Children's Palace Choir.

The supplies were painstakingly transported first to Vienna, Austria, and then by road from Vienna to Sarajevo.

As this year marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and BiH, children performers in the Wuxi choir had a wish to sing "Ode to Joy" together with BiH children, a move to deliver the hope for the early victory over the deadly disease and enhance the friendship and relations between the two countries and their people.

The proposal has gained support of the Chinese Embassy in BiH and then received positive response from the choir of Princess Krofne.

"Princess Krofne were created during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War to celebrate love, kindness and hope. We did not hesitate when, in the dark hours of the epidemic, our Chinese friends invite us to sing the song of love and hope in unison," head of the choir Bojan Zec Filipovic, told Xinhua in a written interview.

Despite the spread of COVID-19 in the Balkan country, the music video was recorded with full support from the children's parents. "We don't want to be overwhelmed by fear," Filipovic said. "In addition to our wonderful collaboration with Wuxi Children's Palace Choir, we also organized online international performances to boost children's confidence."

In face of the raging pandemic, children in the Wuxi choir performed the multi-voice part of the music, while the Princess Krofne choir was responsible for the monophonic.

The post-production team put the two videos together after both choirs recorded their own parts separately.

After its debut in downtown Sarajevo on Oct. 1, the music video was posted on a number of major BiH websites and has been widely shared on social media.

"So beautiful! I enjoyed every detail. We really need that story at this point, and thanks to everyone involved in this idea," Brankica Rudan, a citizen of Sarajevo commented on Facebook after watching the video.

"The children and adults are proud to have contributed to the promotion of cultural exchanges between the two countries through artistic cooperation," Radiosarajevo, a popular Bosnian media outlet, said in a report on the BiH-China partnership.

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