Come with us onto our tour through Peking and Shanghai!

About the Chinatour of the Tamburitza Orchestra Steinbrunn

Article from croatian newspaper "Hratske Novine" vom 7.12.1995 Hrvatske Novine

The big wall

Bei der chinesischen Mauer
Once in Peking, of course we also want to take a picture in front of the most famouse wall of the world.

English translation of the article

Steinbrunn/Shanghai (China)

The IOV (International Organization for Folk Art, a suborganization of UNESCO)
proclaimed 1995 as “The Year of Tolerance.” In that year China opened its borders
and organized an international folklore festival in Shanghai, which is
home to 14 million people. The Tamburitza Orchestra Steinbrunn had the
honor of appearing at that first-time festival.

As a result of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, the members of
Tamburitza Orchestra Steinbrunn would like express our thanks to two of our members
--- Eva Winkler and John Palkovits.  Without the help of these two wonderful
people, we never would have visited China. 

Eva Winkler and John Palkovits began early on by establishing a relationship
with the Chinese Embassy in Vienna.  On the Day of Nationhood (October 26, 1995)
our folklore group left the Vienna Airport for the long flight (over 7000 km) that
would take us over Warsaw, Moskow, the Ural Mountains, Siberia and Mongolia
before landing in Peking.

Upon landing we began with our tour through Peking and visited the
“Forbidden City”, the "Tianamen"(Place of heaven peace), the Ming graves,
and the „Great Wall.“.
   To say the least, the mentality and culture of the country left many
new impressions upon us Europeans.

On our second day we took a plane to Shanghai and stayed in a wonderful
5-Star hotel. All other performing groups were lodged there as well.
  We had the chance to meet groups from France, Italy, Holland, Spain, Finland,
Russia, Israel, South Korea, Tibet and from other parts of China as well.

A major highlight was the big opening parade where all groups went through
the main street performing for some 40.000 people lining the way.
They applauded
continuously. On the following days we performed on different stages to
different audiences, such as schoolchildren, factory workers, office workers
and officials of the Chinese governement. In the evenings we performed
in concert at some of the theatres.  Included in all of our performances
was the Chinese song “Jasminflower”, which we learned especially for this trip.
We also played our Croatian folk songs, which were a highlight of every performance.

But the performances were only the official part of our trip. Every evening
after returning to our hotel, we participated in sing-a-longs in front of
our rooms and at the reception gate.  All nations performed their cultural
specialties for each other, making many new friends this way.  I would not
be surprised if some relationships led to a marriage or two in France or Vladivostok.

We would also like to thank to our friends and fellow Tamburitza players from
Siegendorf, Zillingtal and Hornstein who helped us out by adding to our numbers.
  Without them, our group would not have been as impressive since we had
a minimum number of participants.

After this stressful, but enjoyable, 1st week of performing twice a day,
we were treated to  a 2nd unhurried week where we became “simple” tourists
visiting wonderful and breathtaking sights.

In conclusion, everything about this trip to China was memorable.
We didn´t just visit tourist sights, we also saw the people and how they
live and feel about their culture, which is so different from ours.
   We came to understand and appreciate that we in the Western world enjoy
a much better standard of living than the people of this big land of China.

This journey will be in our hearts forever.

(Thank´s to Deanie Gudac from Florida for the translation into english)

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