Enjoying the Chinese “Culture Banquet”
“What do you like most in China?” Each foreign student at Yiwu may have a different answer. Mu Xiaolong from Egypt (his Chinese name) said he liked to play diabolo most. Mika, from Kyrgyzstan, said she loved The Analects of Confucius, the Confucian classic, very much.
Since the recruitment of international students in 2007, Yiwu Industrial & Commercial College has trained more than 8000 internationals from more than 90 countries. Whether their stay in Yiwu was long or short, they were all immersed in the hospitality and cultural influences of the Chinese “Culture Banquet.” The traditional Chinese culture elements not only integrate into their daily learning-life in Yiwu, but also influence their spiritual life. They pick tea leaves and make Qingmingguo, a traditional food, on Tomb-Sweeping Day; they have dragonboat races and eat zongzi at Dragon Boat Festival; they eat mooncakes at Mid-Autumn Festival, which reflect their traditional culture.
When it came to their experiences celebrating traditional festivals in Yiwu, the students showed their appreciation. Through traditional festivals like Tomb-Sweeping Day, Dragon Boat Festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival; learning traditional skills; and diverse activities from traditional Chinese culture such as paper-cutting, calligraphy, and Chinese zither—which are no longer unfamiliar Chinese cultural symbols—the international students have been deeply impacted by China’s traditional culture. (By Zhang Jingtian – Yiwu Business, translated by Zhang Jiajia, edited by Kendra Fiddler)