In 1995, Beijing Television Station hosted the first Songs
from Our Land: Foreigners Singing Chinese Songs competition. Foreign
friends living in China came from all over the country to display
their talents and join in the fun. The final round of competition
was broadcast during Spring Festival, the Lunar New Year, and
was one of the highest rated specials that holiday season.
In the years since then, the annual competition has grown in
scope and scale, and the ratings have continued to climb. A survey
of Spring Festival program popularity conducted in 2001 showed
Songs from Our Land in third place, following only the CCTV and
BTV gala variety specials. It is now broadcast in Hong Kong, North
America and Europe, as well as throughout China. In 2002, the
competition was expanded to include Chinese dance, balladry, crosstalk,
martial arts, opera and modern drama. To reflect this exciting
change, it received a new name: Arts from Our Land.
The program has been honored with a number of prestigious national
awards. These include the Starlight, Spring Swallow, Rainbow and
Gold Eagle awards.
Since its debut, Songs from Our Land/Arts from Our Land has attracted
some 2,000 competitors of all ages from more than 40 countries
around the world. Every year, people of all races, creeds and
nationalities gather together to display their love of Chinese
arts and culture; to show off their talents in amicable competition;
to make new friends and reunite with old ones. Together with viewers
in China and abroad, they celebrate Spring Festival in a spirit
of international fellowship.