Remarks by Ambassador Khalil Hashmi at the Inauguration of the Pakistan Food Festival Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu: 14 June 2024 - Press Releases - Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan Beijing

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Remarks by Ambassador Khalil Hashmi at the Inauguration of the Pakistan Food Festival Shangri-La Hotel, Chengdu: 14 June 2024

June 14,2024

Director General Zhang Tao of Sichuan Foreign Affairs Office, 
Director General Jiang Bin of Chengdu Foreign Affairs Office, 
Vice President Tang Jilan of Sichuan People's Association of Friendship with Foreign Countries, 
Vice President Wang Guangjun of  China Council for Promotion of Investment and Trade - Sichuan Branch, 
Mr. Song Junwu, DDG Sichuan Provincial People's Department of Culture and Tourism. 
Mr. He Di, Director of Office of International and Overseas Chinese Affairs Committee of Sichuan Provincial People's Congress,
Mr. Thomas Gou, AGM of Shangrilla Hotel,

It  is with great pleasure that  I welcome you all to the inauguration of the Pakistan Food Festival here at the prestigious Shangri-La Hotel in Chengdu. 

This festival is a celebration of the rich culinary heritage and diverse flavors of Pakistan, showcasing the best of our traditional and contemporary cuisine. 

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our hosts, the Shangri-La Hotel, for their support and collaboration. I would like to extend a special thank you to the talented chef and his team for having flown in from Pakistan to share their culinary expertise with us. I would also express my appreciation for the consulate-general in Chengdu.

The inspiration for this festival came to me during my first visit to the beautiful province of Sichuan in January. 

I was deeply moved by the warmth and hospitality of the people of Sichuan and their profound appreciation for cultural exchanges.

It was then that I envisioned a culinary bridge, connecting our two vibrant cultures through the universal language of food.

Culinary diplomacy plays a vital role in bringing people together, transcending borders, and fostering cultural exchange.

Food has the power to evoke emotions, create memories, and build connections that go beyond words.

By sharing our culinary traditions with our friends in China, we hope to deepen our cultural ties and promote greater understanding between our peoples.

As a famous chef once said, "People who love to eat are always the best people." We believe that through this festival, we are bringing together the best of both our peoples.

The Pakistan Food Festival is not just about food; it is about providing a glimpse into Pakistan's culinary traditions, which are as diverse as the country itself.

From the aromatic biryanis of Sindh to the spicy karahis of Punjab, the hearty kebabs of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the unique flavors of Balochistan, our cuisine reflects the cultural diversity and historical influences that have shaped Pakistan over centuries. 

The vibrant dishes of Gilgit-Baltistan, with their use of fresh, local ingredients and distinctive preparation methods, offer a taste of the highlands, while the rich, traditional meals from Azad Jammu and Kashmir, often featuring fragrant rice and tender meats, highlight the culinary heritage of the mountainous regions.

Over the next two weeks, guests will have the opportunity to savor a wide array of traditional Pakistani dishes prepared by our expert chefs.

Each dish has been carefully crafted to provide an authentic taste of Pakistan, using the finest ingredients and traditional cooking techniques. Today we would also prepare a signature dish blending both our cuisines.

There are striking complementarities between the cuisines of Pakistan and Sichuan.

Both culinary traditions are known for their bold flavors, generous use of spices, and rich cultural heritage.

Sichuan's love for spicy, flavorful dishes finds a kindred spirit in the vibrant and diverse flavors of Pakistani cuisine.

This festival is an opportunity to explore these complementarities and celebrate our shared love for good food and hospitality.

The relationship between Pakistan and China is marked by deep-rooted friendship and mutual respect.

Our collaboration extends beyond economic and strategic partnerships to include cultural and people-to-people exchanges.

The Pakistan Food Festival is a testament to our commitment to strengthening these ties and exploring new avenues of cooperation.

As we embark on this culinary journey, I invite each of you to immerse yourselves in the flavors and aromas of Pakistan.

Take this opportunity to engage with our chefs, learn about our culinary traditions, and enjoy the cultural performances.

We hope that this festival will be the first of many such events, paving the way for more cultural exchanges and collaborations.

Let us continue to celebrate our rich cultural heritage and work together towards a future of mutual understanding and friendship.

I  now invite you all to enjoy the culinary delights prepared by our chefs.

I am confident that that this festival would leave you with lasting memories and deeper appreciation for the rich culinary traditions of Pakistan.

Thank you, and enjoy the festival!

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