ICT President on Shen Yun: Traditions a Source of Happiness

January 25, 2014

WASHINGTON—Matteo Mecacci, a former member of the Italian Parliament and president of the International Campaign for Tibet (ICT) said Shen Yun Performing Arts was a beautiful performance. He saw it Friday at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center Opera House.

“[T]he dances are very beautiful and very elegant, including the Manchurian dance, and also the Mongolian dance … The colors are very beautiful, and give off positive energy,” said Mr. Macacci.

Mr. Mecacci is a strong advocate for human rights and has worked with evolving democracies all over the world. He has worked with election-monitoring missions in more than 20 countries.

Mr. Mecacci said he is aware that Shen Yun cannot be seen in China. He said it was interesting to see the positive aspects of Chinese civilization, which are linked to spirituality and personal development. This he contrasted with what people typically associate with China today—its economic and military development.

“It’s a different picture of China from what you get from the official one. So it was interesting to see this … rediscovering and promoting the ancient Chinese culture.”

According to Shen Yun’s website, the Chinese Communist Party has for decades forced atheism upon society, and “launched various campaigns—most notably the Cultural Revolution—to destroy not only cultural sites, temples, and relics, but also the Chinese people’s belief in virtue and faith in the divine.”

The nonprofit New York-based Shen Yun’s mission is to revive traditional Chinese culture. Through classical Chinese dance, colorful costumes, powerful soloists, an animated backdrop, and unique East-West orchestra, Shen Yun takes audiences on a journey of “heavenly realms, ancient legends, and modern heroic tales,” according to its website.

Happiness Comes from Freedom, Belief

Mr. Mecacci said the basis of development cannot only be material development. “To make people happy, you don’t just need to give them money. You need to give them the opportunity to express themselves.”

“You can be happy in different ways,” he said.

For example, “By following your own tradition and by trying to follow your belief. This is becoming more relevant also for people in the West. Because people in the West see that in order to be happy, you don’t just need money.”

He added that “culture, in order to be genuine, needs to be free.”

“The Chinese authorities need to be reminded that the culture needs to be free.”

Reporting by Sherry Dong and Heide B. Malhotra

New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts has four touring companies that perform simultaneously around the world. For more information, visit ShenYunPerformingArts.org

The Epoch Times considers Shen Yun Performing Arts the significant cultural event of our time. We have proudly covered audience reactions since Shen Yun’s inception in 2006.

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