PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Lan Su Chinese Garden is celebrating the 35-year sister city partnership between Portland and Suzhou — honoring Chinese culture in the Rose City.
To commemorate the partnership, Lan Su Chinese Garden is signing multiple Memorandums of Understanding with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Suzhou’s Master of the Nets Garden.
According to Lan Su Chinese Garden, the memorandums are a promise to protect traditional Chinese culture and aim to encourage more collaboration between Suzhou, China and Portland.
“This journey underscores our unwavering dedication to the connections between Portland and Suzhou,” said Elizabeth Nye, executive director of Lan Su. “We are more than a garden; we are a thriving cultural institution, and this trip serves as a testament to that commitment.”
In 1988, former Portland Mayor Bud Clark and Suzhou Mayor Yu Xingde signed the sister city agreement. Later, in 2000, Lan Su Chinese Garden was built by Suzhou artisans — taking inspiration from the Ming dynasty gardens in the Jiangsu province, according to Lan Su Chinese Garden.
The name of the garden combines the names Portland and Suzhou, Lan Su Chinese Gardens officials say — with the word “Lan” meaning “orchid” in Chinese and “Su” meaning “arise” or “awaken.” According to the garden, the name Lan Su can be interpreted to mean “garden of awakening orchids.”
Lan Su boasts 500 cultural and botanical programs every year, including Mid-Autumn Festivals and Lunar New Year celebrations.