Jorge Silva / Reuters A Chinese opera actress poses for a portrait backstage during a performance in Chinatown in Bangkok, February 17, 2016.
Jorge Silva Chinese opera actresses prepare for a performance in Chinatown in Bangkok, February 17, 2016. 
Jorge Silva A Chinese opera actress pays careful attention to her make-up before a performance in Chinatown in Bangkok February 18, 2016. 
Jorge Silva A Chinese opera stage before a performance in Chinatown in Bangkok on February 18, 2016.
Jorge Silva Chinese opera actors apply heavy make-up before their performance in Chinatown in Bangkok, February 17, 2016.
Jorge Silva A Chinese opera actor prays backstage before a performance in Bangkok, February 18, 2016. 
Jorge Silva A Chinese opera actor dons ornate boots for a performance in Chinatown in Bangkok on February 18, 2016. 
Jorge Silva A Chinese opera actress performs in Chinatown in Bangkok, February 17, 2016. 
Jorge Silva People attend a Chinese opera performance in Chinatown in Bangkok, February 18, 2016. 
Jorge Silva  A Chinese opera actor stands backstage before a performance in Chinatown in Bangkok February 17, 2016.
Jorge Silva A Chinese opera actress looks at the audience while standing backstage before a performance in Bangkok on February 18, 2016. 

Bangkok's Beijing Opera

Last year, Zhang Chunhe, a professor at the Communication University of China, exclaimed, "In the future, I expect China will be exporting more culture and reversing the tide we've seen with so much foreign culture, like Christmas, pouring into China." That future has not yet arrived, but China is certainly trying to make it happen. Since 2010, China's ministry of culture has organized Chinese New Year's celebrations around the world, which include a good dose of the old-fashioned Beijing Opera, considered one of China's cultural treasures. The art made an appearance in the 2008 Beijing Olympics' opening ceremony and onto the giant electronic billboards of New York City's Times Square in a 2011 soft power push by China. At the time, China's Xinhua News, considered a government mouthpiece, called Beijing opera a "cultural trademark" with a "a huge international fan base." The latter is certainly an exaggeration—the dissonant tunes and cymbal clanging often make it a hard-sell—but Beijing opera is beginning to make the rounds in Thailand.

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