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Shandong Presents Chinese Culture at 2014 Times Square New Year's Eve Countdown Celebration

The eastern culture of China’s Shandong Province met the western culture of new year's eve celebration as the Sino-American Friendship Association (SAFA) co-hosted the opening ceremony of 2014 Time Square New Year's Eve Countdown Celebration and presented Confucianism and Shandong Culture on Dec. 31st, 2013.

The event got underway at 6:03 p.m. sharp at Duffy Square as the sparkling ball ascended the flag pole for its midnight descent. With Chinese immigrants now placed as the second largest foreign born group in New York City, it was little wonder that SAFA would present Confucianism and Shandong Culture for the first time in the event’s history. Shandong was the first and the only Chinese province to be invited onto the stage representing China at 2014 Times Square New Year Countdown Celebration.

Li Li Co-hosting the Opening Ceremony with Renowned Hostess, Allison Hagendorf Chinese Ambassador Sun, Guoxiang shares his holiday greetings with over a million people in TSQ during the Countdown Opening Ceremony

Shandong is the hometown of Confucius. When people talk about Shandong, they always say, to learn about China, start with Confucius; to learn about Confucius, start with Shandong. Shandong also owns two World Natural and Cultural Heritage Records, Mountain Tai and the Confucius Temple. “Ren” and “Yi” in Chinese represent “Benevolence” and “morality,” which are the core values of Confucianism and the main characteristics of people from Shandong.

Shandong culture was presented through a Kungfu performance and a local blend of Chinese music with a hat dance. Complimentary red scarves, symbolizing the friendship between the U.S. and China, were distributed to those in attendance.

Kungfu performance
Left:Hat dance with traditional music from Shandong by NY dancers;
Right:"Confucius" wisdom represents "benevolence" and "morality" of Shandong at the Opening Ceremony
Honorary attendees open up a banner on stage: Shandong China, Hometown of Confucius”
Video greetings from Shandong is broadcasted live on Toshiba screen under the New Year’s Eve ball during the opening ceremony
Excited crowed warmly welcomes honorary guests wearing red scarves distributed by SAFA with the words “Friendly Shandong”

After the opening ceremony, representatives from Shandong together with other attendees were interviewed by media. During the interviews, special guests expressed their pleasure and excitements of their participation. Hundreds of Millions of people around the world witnessed the beautiful scenery in Shandong and the friendliness of people from Shandong through TV and media networks. Chinese scholar, Professor Liu, Yanshen, presented his calligraphy “Harmony But Not Sameness” at the event.

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Left:Ambassador Sun, Guoxiang receives a Waterford Crystal ingrained with the words “Shandong, New York, Friendship 2014”
Right:Cristin Burtis, representative from Mayor’s Office of New York 
receives a spectacular set of the Analects from Shandong Official. 
Chinese scholar Liu, Yanshen, advisor of SAFA, presents his calligraphy “Harmony but Not Sameness” 

This event attracted numerous social attentions from the public through Facebook and Twitter. New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg and U.S. Senator, Charles Schumer both sent their congratulations and wished this year’s event a great success while Congresswoman Grace Meng was in attendance along with other VIP guests.

In commenting on the event, Senator Schumer says, featuring performances by Shandong as well as many other acts, the “Times Square New Year’s Eve Countdown Celebration 2014” would be an entertaining display of the rich history and traditions of the Chinese community.

Peter Zhang, President of the Sino-American Friendship Association says this countdown opening ceremony is truly eastern culture meeting New York tradition.

Appendix: New Year's Eve Countdown Celebration on site