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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 17. July 18th, 1973

Chinese Tourists at Victoria

page 2

Chinese Tourists at Victoria

On Monday night the Student Union Hall was transformed from a lounge for layabout students into a meeting place and celebration of three cultures. The occasion was a reception for the first ever tourist party from the People's Republic of China.

A number of young Maoris, some from Nga Tamatoa and others from the Te Reo Maori Society gave stirring welcomes which began as speech and ended with song. Later they performed action songs as a group.

Chinese music was heard, first from a NZ Chinese girl playing an ancient stringed instrument. Later, two members of the touring party each sang a Chinese song to an extremely enthusiastic audience.

Presentations were made, speeches were shouted, and a fascinating supper was provided by the NZ Chinese Society, Wellington Branch.

The tourists arrived in New Zealand last Sunday. Hopefully they will not judge our country on the basis of the first report in 'The Dominion' of their meeting with Jacko Marshall and the NZBC. The Dom excelled its patronising ignorance with a headline "Confucious he say: Let curtain part and Chinese roam" and an article which included some lowdown, cynical snipes at the Chinese.

Jack Marshall's contribution to cultural understanding was to deliver a homily to the Chinese on the virtues of having an opposition party. And the NZBC was scarcely welcoming when the Chinese party called. They were shuffled through dark corridors, given coffee but no conversation, and shuffled out with relief.

The Chinese people obviously enjoyed the welcome at the University though, and responded with gifts, songs, and their personal warmth. Many of-them spoke and understood English. Thanks to the excellent organisation of the function, and the willingness of everybody present to open themselves out, this meeting of Chinese and New Zealanders was an outstanding success, day night.