Cuban great-grandmother rediscovers childhood links in Havana book fair’s China pavilion

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A report from Xinhua.

Edith Pereira, a Cuban great-grandmother, has childhood links with the Chinese culture.

She was born in Santa Clara, a city about 280 km east of Havana, where many Chinese families had settled in the early 20th century. From their descendants she learned Chinese traditional breathing exercises to keep fit and developed a taste for healthy Chinese food.

The 75-year-old was filled with joy when she went to the 27th Havana International Book Fair and experienced Chinese culture again.

“It reminded me of my childhood,” she said. “In the neighborhood where I grew up, there were many Chinese and I learned to speak some words as a young girl.”

Both she and her eight-year-old great-grandson Gabriel were delighted with the China pavilion at the fair. “We really liked what they have brought to this fair,” she said.

The activities at the pavilion included Chinese pronunciation workshops and calligraphy as volunteers showed visitors how to pronounce words in Mandarin as well as the art of writing Chinese characters.

“They drew a mouse for me in the form of Chinese characters. I liked it a lot… I would like to learn (Chinese) in the future,” Gabriel said.

Renowned Chinese writers, representatives of more than 60 publishing houses and guest artists have been showcasing the diversity of Chinese culture through book presentations, contests and recreational activities at the book fair where China is the guest country of honor.

The literary event, considered the most important cultural event in the Caribbean nation, opened on Feb. 1 at the old fortress of San Carlos de la Cabana in Havana.

It will conclude in the capital on Feb. 11 and then travel through the rest of the country, ending on May 13 in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba.

China have committed to a strong participation every year at the book fair to deepen ties between the two nations.

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