Banner count = 5
Filed under: music education, research, travel | Tags: banners, ceremony, China, Hangzhou, hospitality, ISME conference |
The ISME Community Music Activity Commission Seminar in Hangzhou was adorned with banners. We were greeted with banners at the hotel entrance:
Above the Registration Table in the foyer:
As a backdrop to the presentation space, which resembled a press conference on the first morning, as dignity after dignity gave a concise, celebratory speech about the Seminar and its significance and importance (I am still to source a photo of that particular event – I was too gob-smacked to think to photograph it myself. the one below is from Day Three of the Commission Seminar):
At the Welcome Banquet that was put on for us at the end of the first day of proceedings. This banner was particularly mind boggling as it was absolutely enormous. Containing the seminar logo and the words ‘Welcome Banquet’, it was clearly a single use banner. It served as a backdrop to the array of performing ensembles that graced the stage throughout the banquet evening. Again, I was too overwhelmed to remember to take photos – I will add this one when I get an image from someone else.
We paid a visit to the local Community College, an excursion that lasted all of 20 minutes, but there was a large banner welcoming us to this place too. That one was up very high:
Five banners! All for us – a group of about 40 delegates from around the world. It was extraordinary – but also a demonstration of respect and honour, I guess, and for that I think we were all quite humbled.
Indeed, we were hosted with such great consideration and care by our hosts the Open University of China and the local community college. The hotel where we stayed and where the conference was held was five-star and grand. In the conference room, we were provided with endless bottles of mineral water, and “bottomless green tea” which the staff would pour for us at regular intervals. Even better, each seating place included a rolled-up, cool damp flannel. Morning and afternoon tea included fruit, cakes, juice, tea and coffee, and the Hotel Buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner included some freshly-cooked, on-request items.
We were each met at the airport or railway station by a volunteer, and as mine explained to me, their role was to help us in whatever way we need. In my mind I began to push this idea along – were they like a personal assistant? Could I send young David (as he called himself in English) out to get a coffee for me? Probably not, but on the day of our excursion to the famed West Lake of Hangzhou, david came along and took me and some other companions on a different walking route around the lake, to the protestations of the main tour guide. And he helped me buy a silk scarf, bargaining the price down to half the original quoted price. I really appreciated his help and company – he was friendly and helpful, and very smart. Thank you David, if you are reading this.
I’m sure we would all have been equally happy with less support if that had been what was offered (and as community musicians, that is probably what most of us are accustomed too!). But I loved that every trouble was taken to create a smoothly-flowing conference in which all our energy and attention could be turned to the papers and ideas themselves, because every other concern had been taken care of.
Hangzhou is the main centre for silk production and garments in China, and each of us received a gift in our seminar showbags of a beautiful silk scarf. It was of very high quality – the fabric was soft and supple, the colours vibrant, and the edges hand-finished. This is how I wore it on the day of my presentation: