Masters hand on heritage skills in new center

What started as a market to sell trinkets from foreign sailors in the 19th century is now a popular shopping mall and heritage experience center.
Masters hand on heritage skills in new center
Ti Gong

Visitors learn how to make traditional zongzi (glutinous rice dumplings) from heritage masters at a new experience center to promote local heritage skills in Huangpu District.

Local residents can learn ancient heritage skills -- from making zongzi rice balls to paper cutting and grass weaving -- at a new experience center launched at a historic photographic equipment mall downtown this weekend.

A dozen listed "intangible cultural heritage skills" are being taught by local masters at the new center at the Xingguang Photographic Equipment in Huangpu District, once a place where trinkets from foreign sailors were sold.

A carnival and photo exhibition started at the center over the weekend.

Inheritors of city and district-level heritages are showcasing and handing on their skills, such as paper-cutting, grass weaving, tie-dyeing and puppet shows, as well as how to make zongzi (glutinous rice dumplings) and do Chinese knotting to celebrate the annual Dragon-boat Festival on June 7.

About 300 visitors can apply to witness and learn the skills from these masters over the weekend at the mall at 300 Luban Road.

A photo exhibition is part of the carnival. Seven photographers took groups of pictures about the origin, content and social influence of local heritage skills in the outlying Baoshan, Songjiang and Chongming districts as well as the Pudong New Area.

The center is one of the "citizens' lifelong learning bases" initiated by the Huangpu government to encourage residents to learn and promote Shanghai's unique haipai, or East-Meets-West, culture at various such experience centers in communities and shopping malls.

The photographic equipment mall, where the latest center was unveiled, opened in 1887 as one of the earliest downtown shopping malls.

It originally sold second-hand cameras, telescopes, watches and optical instruments bought from foreign sailors.

The mall has now developed into one of the most popular shopping spots for cameras and accessories.

Masters hand on heritage skills in new center
Ti Gong

Visitors learn tie-dyeing from heritage masters at the new heritage experience center in Huangpu District.

Masters hand on heritage skills in new center
Ti Gong

A child showcases the zongzi (glutinous rice dumplings) she made at a new experience center to promote local heritage skills in Huangpu District.

Masters hand on heritage skills in new center
Ti Gong

Visitors at a photo exhibition promoting local heritage skills

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