China and the Chinese are the nation that has made the largest contribution to improving the lives of Barbadians (and people all over the world) in the 21st century. I can bear personal testament to that fact. The home that my wife, Monica and I, own is powered by a solar photovoltaic system, something which we could not have afforded before Chinese producers entered the market, driving down prices as a result.
You may not have a personal example quite as dramatic as this, but the fact that so much of what you buy is now made in China is because you get better value for money from Chinese-made products, and your money goes further as a result.
Who are the Chinese, and how have they been able to better their lives - and ours - so dramatically over the last few decades? Exchanges aims to answer this question by arranging encounters with Chinese people, and showing where and how they live. That is also the mission of the Association for Barbados-Chinese Friendship (ABCF), our publisher.
The ABCF will be launched on May 23, 2019, with a mission to build deeper understanding between the Chinese people and Barbadians and Caribbean people from all walks of life. The association’s focus will be on personal experiences, people-to-people contact, cultural exchanges and exchanges of ideas, and the facilitation of travel, business and study. From the outset we aim to learn from and build on the experiences of the Caribbean and China, and to develop mutual understandings and support that will be to the benefit of both sides.
The ABCF will host activities for Barbadians to explore Chinese cuisines, which are varied and exciting; Chinese medicine, offering a holistic approach to health; and Chinese languages and culture, through visiting artistes and performers. The Association will also highlight opportunities for travel, business and study in China.
The ABCF website, ABCF-BB.com is a repository of useful information for travelers, students, business people and researchers. A digital version of Exchanges is published on the website.
The ABCF will be associated with the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries in Beijing, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the Confucius Institute, the Barbados Chinese Association and the newly-formed Chinese Returning Students Association.