AUCKLAND, New Zealand, May 21 (Xinhua) -- Chinese tea culture was celebrated at the Auckland Botanic Gardens in New Zealand on Sunday, with visitors and tourists immersed in tea-making demonstrations, tea-tasting experiences, and cultural performances.
The "Tea for Harmony Yaji Cultural Salon" at the Auckland Botanic Gardens was part of a global event to promote China's tea culture. It was also part of International Tea Day, marked on May 21 every year locally and internationally.
Sunday's celebration featured tea-making demonstrations, tea tasting, traditional Chinese music instrument and dance performances, and keynote speeches by members of parliament, culture researchers and tea lovers.
China's traditional tea processing techniques and associated social practices were inscribed in the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2022.
Chinese Consul-General in Auckland Chen Shijie, said that New Zealand is among the countries with the highest tea consumption per capita. Though the taste differs from Chinese tea, the New Zealand native tea trees, such as Manuka and Kawakawa, have similar functions of refreshing and rejuvenating.
As a major producer and consumer of tea, China is willing to work with all sides to nurture the sustained and healthy development of the global tea industry, deepen cultural exchanges on tea, and allow more people to relish lives accompanied by tea, said Chen.
"Tea used to be the most important commodity on the ancient Silk Road, promoting trade and friendship between China and the rest of the world. We strongly believe it will play an important role today for the maritime Silk Road between China and New Zealand," he said.
New Zealand Member of Parliament Arena Williams also acknowledged the importance of shared cultural connections between the two peoples.
"The connections we share over the cup of tea are simple, special, and warm. May we do that with people who we care most about," said Williams.
According to Wang Jianwen, director of the China Cultural Center in Auckland, the "Tea for Harmony Yaji Cultural Salon" in Auckland will be a week-long celebration of the traditional Chinese tea culture with two salon events, display panels at the Auckland Botanic Gardens, and social media promotions.