Chinese cultural event held for expats in Yuyuan
DIY events in Chinese traditional culture and intangible cultural heritage were held for the city's expats on Friday at the Yuyuan Garden Malls in Huangpu District. The event was held in celebration of the Chinese New Year.
Around 100 people from 40 countries and regions made rabbit-shaped rice balls, sugar paintings and many other items at the Shanghai Classical Hotel which opened in 1875. A Chinese-style feast was also served for dinner.
With the help of a calligrapher, Martin Rahm from Germany wrote the Chinese character fu (福, fortune) with a brush pen. Although he has lived in China for around 30 years, this is his first time using the brush.
"It's soft which is different from other pens. It's difficult to control the writing speed and strength," he said.
The intangible cultural inheritor Wang Ronghua made straw-woven crafts with palm leaves. Straw plaiting has survived for more than 1,000 years. The craft, done in the shape of Chinese dragons, lions and flowers, attracted many curious expats.
The 75-year-old craftsman Zhang Lei showed visitors the paper art chuanghua (paper-cutting for window decoration) with the Chinese character chun (春, spring) done within a few seconds. The implied meaning of the artwork is to wish the weather in the four seasons to be as comfortable as that in spring.
Shen Liang, an official with Shanghai Information Office, said the activity aimed at letting expats know more about China and Shanghai and tell a real China to the world. He also said that many online platforms like City News Service have been launched recently to better serve local foreigners.
A hundred boxes with tea and refreshments were prepared by the City News Service for foreigners as gifts on site.
Clarisse Le Guernic from France said she was pleased to receive such kind of gift because she loves Chinese traditional tea culture.
"When I worked in Hangzhou, I organized groups of people from different countries and regions to try picking and frying tea," she said. "Hands-on experience can let people enjoy Chinese culture vividly and directly."
Expats were also invited to visit the Yuyuan Lantern Fair with the theme "Adventure of Mountains and Seas," inspired by the ancient literature "Shan Hai Jing" (Classic of Mountains and Seas).
The annual fair, listed as a Chinese intangible cultural heritage, has been held 28 times. This year's fair opens from December 26 in 2022 to February 15 this year. The number of visitors has reached 2.33 million, an increase of 20 percent year on year.
Eric Chan, Fosun global partner of Fosun International, said it will continue to develop Yuyan as a stage for showing Chinese culture, creative ideas, and the international and domestic fashion industry.