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Italian Business & Culture Gets a Helping Hand | 助推中意商业和文化交流

 


Written by (作者): Vincent R. Vinci 魏文深
Photos by (图片来源): UISEC-East China 


This past December, Laowaitan’s Lee House paid host to wonderful artworks, snacks from local Italian restaurant Ferrara Lounge, and the Italian expat community as it welcomed the inauguration of the Italian Union for Economic and Cultural Development in East China (UISEC-East China).

The new organization, spearheaded by the Italian expat community with help from the Ningbo Administration of Foreign Experts Affairs and the Jiangbei Human Resources and Social Security Bureau, is a non-profit organization that aims to promote the development of cooperation between East China and Italy at an economic, cultural and social level.

To learn more about the new organization, we sat down with UISEC-East China president and long-time Ningbo resident Michele Vanacore on a cold afternoon in early December. He explained that the idea to form the organization came a number of months ago when he coincidentally met Mr. Huang Yanting, a Chinese who had lived and worked in Italy for some time and was working in the Lee House with the Laowaitan International Talents Community. Huang expressed interest in forming a group or a body that could better represent Italian economic and business interests in Ningbo, and after Michele sat down with a few other expats, they decided to establish UISEC in the city.

The main role of UISEC-East China, Michele tells me, is economic, in that they will help arrange meetings between Italian and Chinese businesses to cooperate mainly in the Yangtze River Delta Region. As the UISEC is a non-profit organization, they will not see any benefit per se, with most of the benefit going to the businesses involved in their cooperation, but it will nonetheless be a means of furthering their mission in the region.

Even though it’s a secondary aspect, the role of arts and culture awareness is of the utmost importance to Michele. “Many Chinese people don’t know very much about Italian culture. Just ask anyone you know and they probably don’t know very much!” he exclaims. Having traveled around the world, Michele tells me that many people know about Italian cuisine, football, and maybe a little about fashion and the arts, but they don’t realize how deep the history is, how Italy was a global power during the Renaissance and that Italian culture helped shape the world for centuries.

Thus, in regards to arts and culture, the organization plans to conduct regular events throughout the year to promote Italian culture in China. Each year the events will have a theme, which in 2017 will be fashion. The reason for this focus is twofold, one reason being to help promote Italy’s iconic fashion industry and brands to Ningbo, but also to promote local brands and help the local government on its path to becoming a hub for international and regional fashion in China.

Michele aims for the events not to boil down to just going to an Italian restaurant once a month, eating food and talking, but to have more depth to them and inform people about Italian culture and art and how it has developed, to see how it can adapt to their lives in Ningbo.

UISEC-East China is a very beneficial new addition to Ningbo’s community, not only for Italian expats and businesses but also for people who want to learn more about Italian culture, art and history. Michele is proud of this, and with a smile he tells me that although there is yet a lot to be done in terms of getting details sorted – they are undergoing the process of becoming a fully legal non-profit organization in both China and Italy – that in itself is already a great success and more success will follow as UISEC-East China integrates into Ningbo life.


2016年12月6日,意大利(中国华东)经济文化发展联合会在老外滩国际人才社区成立,充满幻想色彩的自然画作、来自费雷拉·城市客厅的精致意式美食和意大利籍人士群体在李宅聚集一堂。

这个由意大利籍人士群体牵头,在宁波市外国专家局和江北区人力资源和社会保障局的帮助下创建的新机构是一个非营利组织,旨在促进华东地区与意大利在文化、经济、社会等领域的发展与合作。

为了进一步了解这个新机构,我们在12月初的一个寒冷下午约见了意大利(中国华东)经济文化发展联合会会长——宁波常驻居民米歇尔。他告诉我们,成立这个组织的想法源于数月之前,他与老外滩国际人才社区工作人
员黄艳挺的偶然相遇。黄先生是中国人,曾在意大利生活并工作过一段时间,他向米歇尔表达了想要在宁波创建一个群体或组织,以便加强两地在经济和文化上的联系的念头。米歇尔和另外几位外籍人士商讨过后,一群人决
定在这里建立意大利(中国华东)经济文化发展联合会。

米歇尔说,联合会的主要作用将体现在经济领域,他们会协助意大利和中国企业在长三角地区开展合作。既然联合会是一个非营利组织,他们并不会为自身谋取利益,而是会让合作中所涉及的企业成为最大受益方,即便如此,这仍将是一种能够助力他们在该区域推进使命的手段。

尽管是工作的次要方面,但米歇尔认为艺术和文化意识的作用至关重要。“许多中国人对意大利文化所知甚少,你尽可以试着问问身边的人。”他说。作为一个环游世界的过来人,米歇尔告诉我很多人知道意大利美食、足
球,或许还稍微了解意大利的时尚和艺术,但他们并没有认识到意大利的深厚历史、在文艺复兴时期的全球性大国地位以及几个世纪以来意大利文化对全世界的影响力。

因此,在艺术和文化方面,联合会计划在全年定期举办意大利文化推广活动。每年的活动会定一个主题,2017年是时尚。选择这个主题有两方面的原因,一来是想帮助意大利标志性的时尚产业和品牌打入宁波,二来也是想把宁波本土品牌推出国门并促进宁波早日成为国际和区域性时尚中心。

米歇尔的目标可不仅仅是每个月找家意大利餐厅吃吃饭聊聊天,更是要让活动做出深度,向人们展示意大利的文化、艺术及其发展历史,并努力让它们在宁波焕发出新的生命力。

意大利(中国华东)经济文化发展联合会将对整座城市大有裨益,能够从中受益的除了意大利籍人士和他们的企业,也包括那些想了解意大利文化、艺术和历史的人们。米歇尔对此深感自豪,他笑着告诉我们,虽然还有很多细节问题需要解决(他们正在努力成为一个在中国和意大利都完全合法的非营利性组织),但是联合会的建立本身就是一个巨大的成功,当它完全融入城市生活之后,必将会取得更多的成绩。

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