Harrie Walker, Sister Cities Chairperson to Foshan
Stockton has enjoyed a sister city relationship with Foshan since 1988. Foshan is a prefecture-level city in Guangdong Province in southeastern China. The entire prefecture covers 3,848.49 km² and has an urban population over 7 million. Stockton and Foshan cities are both port cities located in a river delta region.
In the past we have cooperated in a variety of educational and cultural projects. We have been most pleased and most successful at furthering governmental, academic, and cultural exchanges and feel that our activities contribute to wider cultural understanding and appreciation in both countries.
Stockton has hosted multiple official delegations from Foshan, and groups of Stockton citizens have enjoyed friendship tourism visits with their hosts in Foshan. We have run a successful professional development program in which middle school teachers from Foshan studied at San Joaquin Delta College while staying with local families for cultural experience and language practice. Teachers from Foshan returned home to spread cultural knowledge and fluency in American idiomatic English to their students. SSCA hosts also learned and formed continuing friendships.
Foshan is known for its fine ceramics, both commercial and artistic work. Several years ago, we invited two ceramic master artists to exhibit in the local Horton Art Gallery on the San Joaquin Delta College campus. The show was well attended and extremely successful, in fact, sold out!
Stockton Sister Cities participates in the annual Chinese New Year parade and invites the general public to a Moon Festival celebration involving a banquet and entertainment by talented local youth.
Stockton Sister Cities collaborated with the Stockton Symphony for an event featuring music representing each of our seven sister cities and a post-concert reception showcasing foods and cultural decorations representing each of our seven sister cities.
During the pandemic most of our activities have been put on hold. During the worst of the COVID lockdown in Foshan, we sent video expressing of our good wishes and encouragement to our friends in our sister city. We look forward to a brighter future when local festivals and international travel are again safe, and we can again greet them face to face.