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2021-09-21 12:41:34

SHANGHAI — Whereas China’s Mid-Autumn Festival is traditionally a time to spend with family and snack on mooncakes, the “Shanghai Foreign Storytelling Club” gathered in a hotel ballroom on Tuesday.

The club, founded in June on the initiative by the Shanghai municipality publicity department, aims to open a dialogue between the city and its foreign residents. Members of the club include scientists, scholars, artists, and businesspeople.

At the event, members and their family members put on a variety of performances, including singing, playing violin, and opera. The crowd cheered when an official invited foreigners to sing the classic romantic Chinese song “The Moon Represents My Hearts.”

“Your stories of Shanghai are an important part of our journey to an outstanding international city,” said Shen Liang, head of Shanghai’s external publicity department, at the event. About a quarter of China’s foreign residents live in Shanghai.

Astrid Poghosyan, who played violin at the event, is the executive assistant to the president of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. She told Sixth Tone she was invited by Shanghai’s publicity department to join the club and that it had expanded her social network.

“They are my Chinese family here,” said Poghosyan.

(Header image: A woman plays sports at the Bund in Shanghai, 2017. People Visual)