A group of Barbadians who see a promising future in deepening person-to-person relationships and understanding between Chinese and Barbadians and Caribbean people from all walks of life, have come together to form the Association for Barbados-China Friendship, ABCF. The organisers all have varied experiences of China and different types of contact with the Chinese. The group includes Dr Chelston Brathwaite, Barbados’ second ambassador to Beijing, and Rosanna, his wife, along with Barbadians who have lived or studied in China, speak fluent Chinese, people who do business with China, visitors to China, and persons who have an interest in knowing more about the world’s second largest economy.
The Fish and Dragon Festival, inaugurated five years ago has introduced Barbadians to the Lion Dance and other aspects of Chinese art and culture. Festival goers have been exposed to Chinese medicine, calligraphy, simple phrases in Mandarin, Chinese martial arts, traditional musical instruments, acrobats, and more. The ABCF aims to complement the annual Fish and Dragon Festival with a year-round programme of events and information about China and the Chinese. The ABCF’s flagship will be this magazine, Exchanges.
The Association also has an active website. In addition to articles in the printed version of Exchanges, the website will feature new articles, which will be added on a regular basis. The website will also feature information for travelers to China, and videos of Chinese cuisine and visitor attractions. It will provide factual and background material on China, and links to other sources of information.
The ABCF aims to host two major showcases each year. September 23 is the tentative date for a travel exposition featuring services for visitors to China, and a Chinese food and drink exposition is tentatively slated for November 21. Beginning next year, the association hopes to arrange an annual tour to China. Future showcases might include topics such as Chinese medicine, doing business with China, study in China, online resources, etc.
Initially, the ABCF’s focus will mainly be on introducing Barbadians to the real Chinese. However, in time we hope to balance this with an equal focus on introducing Chinese to real Barbadians. Our association is keen to attract members who share our conviction that sharing experiences at a personal level is the best way to address challenges that confront us at a national and global level.
If you would like to join the ABCF, please let us know by email to ABCFBBASSN@gmail.com, copied to info@DeLisleWorrell.com. You may also contact the Association at 246 835 6181, or through any member of the organizing committee.
OFFICERS OF THE ABCF
Dr DeLisle Worrell, former Governor, Central Bank of Barbados, President
Dr Chelston Brathwaite, former Barbados ambassador to the PRC, Vice President
Mr David Bulbulia, Co-director of the Confucius Institute, Vice President
Ms Deborah Harper, Senior Teacher, Secretary
Mr Daniel Hinds, Creative Industry Consultant/Translator, Assistant Secretary
Mrs Monica Drayton Worrell, Event Manager, Activities Chairperson
Mrs Rosanna Brathwaite, Event Co-ordinator
THE ABCF ONLINE
The Association for Barbados-China Friendship’s website, ABCF-BB.com, includes a warm welcome to the ABCF from Ambassador Yan Xiusheng, and an interview in which he speaks of his impressions of Barbados, his goals as Ambassador, and the significance of the China-Barbados Memorandum of Understanding on the Belt and Road Initiative, signed in Beijing in February this year. Articles from Exchanges are available online, along with factsheets and videos of interest to visitors to China. The website also offers links to the programmes of the Chinese Global Television network, CGTN.