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Urban farming allows residents to experience joy of countryside

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As recent COVID-19 flare-up in China prevents people from traveling outside the city during the five-day May Day holiday, some residents in the southwestern province of Sichuan are experiencing life in the countryside at urban parks.

May is the season for mulberries in the country, but harvest is inside a park in the provincial capital Chengdu.

Why mulberries? Sichuan is one of the cradles of silk culture. Silk from Chengdu became famous nationwide as early as 2,000 years ago, and mulberry leaves are the main food for silkworms.

Today the mulberry grove inside the ecological park has become a place for parents to bring their children to learn about workers’ contributions to the country, as well as history during the holiday. No pesticides are used here, so children can taste the fruit right off the tree.

An aerial view of the ecological park in Chengdu, southwest China’s Sichuan Province. /CGTN

A fourth-grade pupil was sharing his experience in picking mulberries and silkworm breeding. He said mulberries should be picked when they are soft and purple, which are absolutely delicious. Each silkworm can eat three or four mulberry leaves a day, and the insect is dependent on the growth of mulberry trees, he added.

A college student came here with her family. She told CGTN that she always helped her grandmother in harvesting vegetables, and this kind of agricultural activity relaxes her.

Other than harvesting in the city park, residents can also rent a plot of land in the park to plant crops and vegetables. To ensure a good harvest, the field is taken care of by professionals.

Apart from allowing citizens to experience life on the farm, urban agriculture can also benefit the environment and provide food supplies to the city.

This ecological park covers 133 square kilometers, half of which belongs to the farmland protection area. At present, crops have been planted on 8,000 acres, most of them grain and oil crops.

The Chengdu Plain belongs to the country’s double-cropping region. This means after wheat is harvested early summer, rice will be planted in the same fields. At that time, the rice paddies can cool the city and reduce dust, just like a river flowing through the city.

Source: By Guo Tianqi, CGTN

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‘Tomb of Sand’ becomes first Hindi novel to win International Booker Prize

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Hailed as “extraordinarily funny” despite confronting traumatic events, the book is centred around an 80-year-old widow’s experiences during the subcontinent’s 1947 partition into India and Pakistan.

Indian writer Geetanjali Shree and American translator Daisy Rockwell have won the International Booker Prize for “Tomb of Sand”, a vibrant novel with a boundary-crossing 80-year-old heroine.

Translator Frank Wynne, who chaired the judging panel, said on Thursday that the judges “overwhelmingly” chose “Tomb of Sand” after “a very passionate debate”.

Originally written in Hindi, it’s the first book in any Indian language to win the high-profile award, which recognises fiction from around the world that has been translated into English.

The $63,000 prize money will be split between New Delhi-based Shree and Rockwell, who lives in Vermont.

The book tells the story of an octogenarian widow, who dares to cast off convention and confront the ghosts of her experiences during the subcontinent’s tumultuous 1947 partition into India and Pakistan.

Wynne said that despite confronting traumatic events, “it is an extraordinarily exuberant and incredibly playful book”.

“It manages to take issues of great seriousness — bereavement, loss, death — and conjure up an extraordinary choir, almost a cacophony, of voices,” he said.

“It is extraordinarily fun and it is extraordinarily funny.”

READ MORE: Libyan author becomes youngest winner of coveted Arabic fiction prize

International Booker Prize

Shree’s book beat five other finalists, including Polish Nobel literature laureate Olga Tokarczuk, Claudia Pineiro of Argentina and South Korean author Bora Chung, to be awarded the prize at a ceremony in London.

The International Booker Prize is awarded every year to a translated work of fiction published in the UK or Ireland. It is run alongside the Booker Prize for English-language fiction.

The prize was set up to boost the profile of fiction in other languages — which accounts for only a small share of books published in Britain — and to salute the often unacknowledged work of literary translators.

“Tomb of Sand” is published in Britain by a small publisher, Tilted Axis Press.

It was founded by translator Deborah Smith — who won the 2016 International Booker for translating Han Kang’s “The Vegetarian” — to publish books from Asia.

The novel has not yet been published in the United States, but Wynne said he expected that to change with “a flurry of offers” after its Booker victory.

In Britain, “I would be gobsmacked if it didn’t increase its sales by more than 1,000 percent in the next week”, Wynne said. “Possibly more.”

READ MORE: Celebrating female literary heroines

Source: TRTWorld

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MMPRC kicks off roadshows targeting the Middle East market

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Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has kicked off an exciting series of roadshows targeting the Middle East market as part of the effort to provide a platform for industry partners from both sides to connect and establish relations. The roadshows are held in Saudi Arabia, in the capital city Riyadh, then Jeddah, and finally Kuwait City on May 23, 25, and 26, respectively.

MMPRC stated it aims to build and maintain a strong B2B presence in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, share the latest destination updates and guidelines with the travel trade, and ultimately increase arrival figures from those countries. It stated that Maldivian tourism products, including resorts, hotels, guesthouses, and liveaboards will be marketed through the event by MMPRC and industry partners. In total, 16 participants are taking part in the roadshow in Riyadh, with 18 participants taking part in the roadshow in Jeddah, and 16 confirmed participants for the roadshow held in Kuwait City.

The roadshow, entitled Connect with Maldives – The Ultimate Dream Destination, begins with a warm introduction of industry partners followed by a destination presentation. The presentation highlights tourism products in the Maldives, the unique experiences available, and the latest travel guidelines for the Maldives. The safety provided by the scattered geography of the Maldives is also being highlighted during the roadshow series.

The presentation portion of the roadshow is followed by a productive night of networking and building new business relations. To maximise visibility, MMPRC invited over 80 agents from each city to take part in the roadshow. Industry partners have the opportunity to showcase their properties, generate new business leads, and engage in one-on-one networking opportunities. Sponsored by Taj Exotica Resort and Spa, a special raffle was conducted at the Riyadh Roadshow, awarding a free trip to the Maldives to the lucky winner. The second and third runner-up of the raffle wins a smartwatch and amazon gift card respectively sponsored by MMPRC.

MMPRC is conducting these roadshows as part of its marketing strategy for the Middle East market. These include greater B2B contact in order to increase our total outreach, campaigns that cover all the products and experiences of Maldives, and strengthening the country’s niche position in the region as a chic destination for affluent travellers.

 

Source: psmnews

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MMPRC participates in Riyadh Travel Fair

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Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has participated in the Riyadh Travel Fair to market the destination in the Middle East. The Riyadh Travel Fair is being held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia from May 22-24.

Riyadh Travel Fair is considered a significant annual event in which leading travel and tourism companies and other international partners in Saudi Arabia gather with exhibitors representing tourist promotion authorities and tourist companies at the Arab and international levels. The fair is considered a market for the introduction of the tourist products, services, and investments provided by the most significant tourist companies in the world.

MMPRC is joined at the Riyadh Travel Fair by industry partners aiming to market the destination as a safe haven and promote the unique geography of our scattered islands, which provides visitors with ultimate safety and privacy. Furthermore, MMPRC expressed hope the event will help market tourism products and promote the diverse segments of tourism, including luxury, romantic, family, and meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) options.

MMPRC said that participation in the Riyadh Travel Fair is part of the marketing strategies for the Middle East market. The strategy is based on conducting campaigns to increase the reach, bookings, and arrivals from the region.

Last year, Maldives welcomed 91,413 tourists to the country from the Middle Eastern market with Saudi Arabia ranking as the top 7th market for the Maldives.

 

Source: psmnews

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