Bringing heritage to the people

Shanghai has launched a campaign to promote heritage skills in local communities with a number of studios, training centers and exhibitions being opened to public.
Lu Yinlan / Ti Gong

Craftswomen weave textiles at Shanghai Great World, also known as Dashijie in downtown Huangpu District over the weekend, in honor of the annual Cultural and Natural Heritage Day.

Shanghai has launched a campaign to promote heritage skills in local communities, authorities said over the weekend.

Local heritage-handicraft masters are encouraged to perform and teach residents at communities regularly to help preserve examples of intangible cultural heritage, said Yang Qinghong, director of the Shanghai Administration of Culture, Radio, Film & TV’s publicity department. A number of local studios, training centers and exhibitions will also open to the public.

Twenty-six local heritage experts were newly listed as national masters on Saturday, bringing the total number of Shanghai national masters to 120. The newly listed masters include Lu Dajie, a dragon-dance master from the Pudong New Area, local comedian Tong Shuangchun and Qian Cheng, deputy director at Shanghai Farce Troupe.

Lu Yinlan / Ti Gong

A local heritage master performs color lantern making, a listed national intangible cultural heritage, at the Shanghai Great World on Saturday.

“I prefer to closely communicate with residents in communities, because Shanghai comedy originated in these communities and ought to be passed down through the communities,” said Tong.

Qian, one of Tong’s apprentices, said they would perform in local communities, and explain and teach the essence of their art.

Local masters and their disciples held over 800 performances and training sessions across the city over the weekend as part of heritage celebrations.

Ethnic minority masters of a number of traditional musical instruments, such as the Mongolian “horse head,” performed and lectured in Xuhui District.

China has listed 1,986 items of national “intangible cultural heritage,” covering literature, music, dance, arts, handicrafts and traditional medicine. Some are on the verge of being lost forever.

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