Brussels’ diplomatic community got a taste of the cultural diversity of the Asia-Pacific region during the first fashion show held by an association of women diplomats from the region this week.
The Asia-Pacific International Bazaar and Fashion Show on Tuesday saw the region’s diplomatic envoys to Brussels don traditional costumes and strut down the runway alongside family and friends, in a lively event meant to celebrate diversity and foster international relations.
The event was organised by the Asia-Pacific Women’s Association (APWA), a Brussels-based non-profit gathering female ambassadors and other members of the region’s diplomatic community in Brussels.
After a graceful dance by a Javanese contemporary performer, members of each national delegation took to the runway, showcasing garments and traditional costumes rich in colours and elaborate designs.
From China to Brunei and from Bangladesh to Fiji, the evening was brought to life by a flurry of unique and intricate garments — each conveying its own country’s history, traditions and craft. A diversity of dance and music performances between each country’s delegation further energized the diplomatic crowd.
The Chinese mission to the EU set the tone for the evening, displaying beautiful pieces as they walked down the runway to the alternating rhythm of traditional and contemporary music.
Children brought additional zest into the evening, either treating the audience to a musical performance of APWA’s theme song or taking part in the fashion show as they hopped and strutted down the runway accompanied by their families.
The fashion show, which was preceded by a charitable bazaar, was one of many events organised in Brussels by the diplomatic association.
Speaking at the start of the event, APWA President, Mme. Cai Xiaoli said the colourful show, held at the Tangla Hotel in Brussels, embodied the “bridge between East and West.”
Echoing his spouse’s remarks, Ambassador Zhang Ming, Head of the Chinese Mission to the EU, said the Asia-Pacific region was not only “one of the most culturally dynamic region’s of the world,” but also “proof that different civilizations are not destined to clash, but can coexist in harmony and thrive together.”
From the vibrant colours of Pakistani garments to the hand-woven patterns of the Bangladeshi sari, the region’s varied and unique cultures were celebrated throughout the evening, in a warm and cheerful setting overflowing with the rich diversity of the Asia-Pacific region.
The Brussels Times