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It’s difficult to miss the two marble Chinese lions guarding the entranceway to Honolulu’s Chinatown, which turns out to be an important connection to one of Honolulu’s sister cities. The lions were a gift from the city of Kaohsiung in Taiwan to commemorate the arrival of Chinese settlers in Hawaii more than two centuries ago.
Honolulu celebrates half a century as Kaohsiung’s sister city.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Kaohsiung-Honolulu sister city relationship and to celebrate, Honolulu will be hosting a free Aloha Concert tonight. The line-up of performances include cellist I-Bei Lin, pianist Eric Wu, the Ka-Im Choir and the Tai-Zi dance group. I-Bei Lin is an associate professor of Cello and Chamber Music at the University of Hawaii. The Tai-Zi group is big time in Taiwan; combining modern music with religious ritual, their scheduled dance debut in Hawaii had also been performed at the 2009 World Games in Kaohsiung.
Kaohsiung is one of two dozen cities that can call Honolulu their sister; others include cities in France, Japan, Philippines, Portugal, Kenya, South Korea and Vietnam. In fact, Kaohsiung is the fourth sister city for Honolulu. Such connections promote cultural understanding between countries through the spirit of friendship and, not to mention, cultural festivals and celebrations.
Last year, Kaohsiung hosted an International Container Arts Festival, sponsoring artists from four of its sister cities. This included artists from Honolulu. Back in the 60s, Kaohsiung hosted a “Honolulu Day” to celebrate its eternal friendship with Hawaii’s state capitol. Now it’s our turn to revel in the spirt of Aloha during this upcoming celebration, reaffirming this blossomed connection between two cities in the Pacific.
ALOHA CONCERT • Tonight, 5pm (Free) • Mission Memorial Auditorium, 550 S. King St., Honolulu, HI 96813 • 808-768-5761