Zhu Zheqin (a.k.a. Dadawa) kicked-off Monday in Beijing her "Chinese Ethnic Handicraft Collection Tour," as part of her joint initiative with UNDP "Show the World."
World-renowned music artist and National Goodwill Ambassador of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) China, Ms. Zhu Zheqin (a.k.a. Dadawa) kicked-off Monday in Beijing her "Chinese Ethnic Handicraft Collection Tour," as part of her joint initiative with UNDP "Show the World." In her capacity as UNDP's national Goodwill Ambassador, Dadawa will promote culture-based development for ethnic minorities in China through preserving culturally invaluable ethnic music and handicrafts that are at risk of being lost.
Introducing the details of the "Show the World" handicraft collection tour working plan at the launching ceremony, Dadawa said: "The main objective of this project is to provide marketing and branding support to ethnic minority communities. Along with my team, I will leverage my extensive experience working in arts circles to bring together designers, marketing and branding professionals, cultural enterprises and the media to help minority communities to develop marketable brands, so that their culturally rich handicrafts reach wider and higher-end markets."
Supported by Bank of China, this innovative tour will lead Dadawa and her Goodwill Action team, together with A-list Chinese designers, industry experts and journalists, to conduct field visits to Yunnan, Guizhou, Tibet, Qinhai and Inner Mongolia to explore local ethnic cultural heritages and record handicraft production process.
Silvia Morimoto, Deputy Country Director of UNDP China, in her address to the launch commented on the mutually beneficial nature of the tour's objective, saying "showcasing the beauty in traditional ethnic music and handicraft, enhancing communication between ethnic minority regions and the world, it effectively harnesses the power of culture revival as an engine for development."
Last year, Dadawa and her Goodwill Action team launched their Chinese Ethnic Music Collection Tour, another "Show the World" activity. They traveled 20,000 km to make field visits within Yunnan, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Tibet, Guizhou, collecting 1000 cultural music samples, recording over 20,000 photos and shooting over 15,000 minutes of video over the course of their two-month undertaking. The music samples collected will be compiled into a two-CD album, to be released in 2010. The samples will also be featured in Dadawa's coming world tour, aimed at preserving Chinese folk music while promoting the integration of China's diverse cultures into the modern world.
The inspiration for the tour's focus on culture-based development is that China has the world's biggest ethnic minority population, 106 million people, but this population is disproportionately poor. It represents 52 percent of China's entire population in poverty, yet China owes much of its cultural wealth to the unique diversity of its 55 officially recognized ethnic minority groups.