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Suoyuan 2017---World Cultural Exchange
Post Time: 11/07/2017

  On the morning of June 29, the 5th session of the Jinhua Homestay Project was officially inaugurated. Representatives of the Australian and German consulate generals in Shanghai, overseas Chinese representatives, and 36 international students from 21 countries gathered at the Yan Family Ancestral Hall in Suoyuan Village of Jindong District to witness the moment.

Highly AppreciatedFolk Culture

  At the opening ceremony, the book entitled Chinese Home Plus International Home,jointly edited by Jinhua Daily and the Jinhua Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, was popular with attendees. Recorded by the Jinhua Daily team,the book covers touching memories of the project over the past two years. Additionally, song and dance performances by the Jinhua Art School brought another high point to the opening ceremony. The dance performance was set against ancient buildings, integratedwith the buildings skillfully, and formed a movingink painting,” while the performance of classic Wu Opera brought continuous applause from the audience.

  Additionally, the song Chinese Auntie, with its warm and sincere blessings, resonated with the audience members and made them feel closer to each other.

  Later there was a 30-minute snapshot of folk culture, which presented Jinhuas traditional culture by integrating the cultural elements with street corners or lanes somewhere in Suoyuan Village. The wide range of traditional culture was highly praised by the attendees.

Unforgettable Experience of Culture Heritage

        During the first days of the project, the participants visited the Wugu Huoyao company (a pottery factory), and learned in Suoyuan the traditional ways to beat drums, knock gongs, weave straw, and make soymilk from the locals. The traditional folk culture made a deep impression on them.

  American student, David Haler was in charge of the news interview in the project. He revealed that he felt very honored to share such interesting information with more people. At the Wugu Huoyao company, he felt helpless when he looked at a block of clay in front of him, but that made the finished product displayed in the exhibition area even more magical to him. He commented that traditional Chinese art is exquisite, and it was amazing that, simple as it was to shape the clay, it actually took a lot of skills.

  During the visit to the Ceramics Museum, Lovely Mehrotra, an Indian participant and reporter for Time, gave interpretations while making the video. Holding a selfie stick, he missed no details. I want to record traditional Chinese folk culture and crafts, make videos of them, and post them to YouTube. Then I will write articles about them and match the corresponding pictures to them. It will create a sensation once they are published in Time,” said Lovely.

  In the pottery factory Wugu Huoyao, Lovely and her partners experienced the process of ceramics washing firsthand, and she found the experience interesting and meaningful. Through it, they learned the manufacturing process of world-famous ceramics.Its like a historical gallery which enables us to witness the inheritance of traditional Chinese culture across time and space, she said.


Cultural Exchanges between Jinhua and the World

       In the Suoyuan 2017 session of the Jinhua Homestay, 15 overseas participants are from Israel, Pakistan, Russia, Laos, India, Myanmar, and Singapore, 7 countries that are along the Belt and Road.

  Zhang Yaqin, assistant director of the Cultural Exchange Department of the Chinese Peoples Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, commented that Jinhua is taking the lead in foreign trade and humanities exchanges, a good example of the opening-up policy. Located at a converging point of the New Silk Road, Jinhua boasts many much-told stories about the Belt and Road that illustrate the inclusiveness and friendship of the city.

  Shao Guoqiang, deputy mayor of Jinhua, commented that the Homestay Project had set up a platform to strengthen cultural exchanges and mutual learning between nations. He expects the participants to gain better knowledge of Jinhuas ancient villages, thus better understanding the charm of traditional Chinese culture, historical buildings, and folk culture. Shao hopes that the participants can further tap the cultural connotation of the ancient village and offer proposals for their protection and development.(By Wu Qian & Wang Lei, translated by Kang Meiling, edited by Kendra Fiddler)

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