Chinese culture is famous for reaching beyond the surface dimension — an exploration in meaning, virtue and lifestyle often forgotten today. But patrons of Taste of Life’s cultural trip — The Chinese Utopia — were given the gift of time travel, if only for a day.
Summer rains painted a nostalgic mythical backdrop, reminiscent of the Yangtze River Delta in Southern China. Guests dressed to the nines boarded a private luxury yacht and set sail from Harbour Green Park to English Bay, a foggy ambiance setting a contemplative mood that would soon be warmed with ancient wisdom and wonder.
Landing on the island, guests embraced a 360 degree view atop the beautiful villa with hints of timber and stone in its surrounding architecture, setting the table for a Zen-like cultural odyssey. Pouring Singapore’s finest TWG tea, the masters of the ceremony reminded us to treat all with respect and to genuinely serve people from the heart.
Savory dishes from acclaimed Cantonese restaurant Yue Delicacy delighted our tastebuds, while TaiOne Restaurant satisfied our sweet tooth with ripe fruits, encouraging warm social banter and bonding.
A hush fell over as Taste of Life’s marketing manager Ms. Sharee Dong took stage, thanking the patrons, offering a gift in return — a glimpse of Shen Yun Performing Arts’ promotional video — a taste of legacy, 5000 years in the making. The dancers’ effortless grace illuminated the gathered guests, drawn to their spiritual and physical vibrancy.
Bridging ancient culture to life, elegant models dressed in traditional Han Couture — or Han Fu — floated across a cat walk. A moderator explained the imperial attire’s hidden virtues — large circular cuffs representing a round heavenly path, the seam in the back signifying humans walk between heaven and earth, and tied waistbands symbolizing humanity’s bond with divine laws.
The spectacle wasn’t simply a visual one, as patrons excitedly tried on the traditional dress, gliding down the runway for laughs and photo ops with their newfound friends. A moderator quizzed the nobles enjoying their new digs, gifting cosmetics and perfume to the winners. And three stunning grand prizes were given — a $1,000 diamond necklace from Diamond Queen Collection, a $600 decorative sculpture from Jansen Home Shop and a special offer from Wisdom Financial.
The buzz from the raffle quieted down as a performer plucked a seven-stringed Chinese guqin, resonating a sound and depth that could beckon the ancestors of the Middle Kingdom. The flow of sensory beauty — from the guqin harmonizing with sounds of sea and rain to the supple hands of tea masters — washed away the concerns of our modern drama, making everyone seem suspended, not stranded, on this simple island of luxury.
All chatted eagerly about next year’s affair as one guest summed up well their experience — “Now Vancouver can’t be without Taste of Life — only with this magazine can life in Vancouver be with high taste.”