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  • Emma Shen

Celebrating International Tea Day: A Cultural Extravaganza in Australia

May heralds the arrival of a colorful autumn in Australia, a time when tea enthusiasts from around the globe converge to celebrate the fifth International Tea Day.

This special occasion holds profound significance and emotion for every individual passionate about tea culture. On May 21st, Australia Tea Society Inc hosted a distinctive "International Tea Day" celebration. This was not only the association's inaugural significant meeting but also a dazzling display of tea culture in Australia.

The celebration was led by Mr. James Shen, the chairman of the Australia Tea Society Inc. It was worth noting that the event brought together a plethora of esteemed guests and tea enthusiasts from various fields and backgrounds, all sharing a deep interest in tea culture. The attendees included Mr. Charles Brent, the former Chief Commissioner of the Victorian Government's China Office, Ms. Jenny Sharwood, the former chairman of the Australian Chemistry council, Mr. Qian Hengyu, the president of the Australian Shanghai Business Association Inc, Ms. Wu Yihong, the president of the Multicultural Life Club, film producer Miss. Charmaine Kuhn, and other distinguished guests. The surprise attendance of visitors from Europe and South Asia added a rich multicultural flavor to the festivities.

With a considerable number of non-Chinese guests, James Shen's speech focused not only on the necessary understanding of tea's discovery and cultural development but also emphasized the practical significance of tea, such as the characteristics and allure of the six major tea categories. He highlighted that tea, as one of the most extensively utilized plants in human history, contains over five hundred trace elements beneficial to human health, significantly contributing to our well-being. This drew the attention of many tea lovers and provided the non-Chinese attendees with a deeper insight into tea.

A highlight of the tea party was the tea brewing demonstration by Ms. Jenny Li, the vice-chairwoman of the Australia Tea Society Inc. With her exquisite skill and extensive knowledge, she showcased essential aspects of tea brewing. During the process, Jenny emphasized the importance of selecting the right vessel and tea-making method, asserting that only the correct technique could bring out the optimal aroma, taste, and aftertaste of tea. She also introduced the characteristics and tasting methods of different tea varieties available at the tea party, leading to a more profound appreciation of tea and its culture among the attendees.

Mr. James Shen further captivated the audience with a unique tea art performance. Through his magical display, he transformed a murky liquid into a clear, green tea that left the guests in awe. The tea was unanimously praised for its full-bodied flavor, enticing aroma, and lasting aftertaste. This performance not only displayed exquisite tea art skills but also conveyed the spiritual essence of tea culture to each guest.

It was heartening to see that the celebration received video congratulations from tea organizations and institutions across more than sixteen countries and regions. Notable among these were messages from Mr. Ian Gibbs, chairman of the International Tea Committee; Mr. CK Liu, chairman of the ASEAN Tea Organization; Mr. Rajiv Lochna, former chairman of the Indian Tea Association; and Dr. GG Bandula, Director & CEO of the 'Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute of Sri Lanka.'

During lunchtime, the "ASEAN Tea Organisation" grand gathering took place as scheduled. With the main venue in Malaysia, the Zoom video call allowed us to feel the blessings and joyous atmosphere from around the world. At this special moment, the celebratory wishes of "Happy International Tea Day" resonated globally and blended with each cup of our tea.

After the tea party, we were invited by Mrs. Qin Ling, the Managing Director of Australia's leading integrated Chinese media group "Ausfocus International Media Group" to discuss collaboration at their headquarters.

Using tea as a medium, we bridged our distances and explored the promotion and development of tea culture in Australia. Mrs. Qin highly appraised our work in promoting tea culture and conducting tea tastings and invited ATS to participate in the "Commerce & Investment Expo Victoria Forum" held in Manningham from May 25-26th to promote tea culture and conduct VIP tea tastings.

The International Tea Day celebration not only successfully showcased the charm of tea culture but also fostered exchanges and cooperation between Australia and international tea friends. Participating in  Ausfocus International Media Group's activities was not only an endorsement of our efforts in promoting tea culture but also an extension of our International Tea Day event. We hope that through such activities, we can attract more people to pay attention to and participate in promoting tea culture, spreading the concept of a healthy tea-drinking lifestyle to more Australians. We believe that with everyone's joint efforts, tea culture will flourish even more brilliantly in Australia.

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