On June 9, 2017, “Experience China - Beautiful Shaanxi”, a cultural experience event for international students sponsored by China Scholarship Council and organized by Xi’an Jiaotong University, was formally launched. More than 130 international students from countries such as Pakistan, Italy, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan, who are recipients of Chinese Government Scholarships, attended the event. Led by the International Students Office of the International Education Department of Xi’an Jiaotong University, the attendees walked into Xi’an YinQiao Dairy Group, experienced pottery handmaking in Fuping Pottery Art Village, visited Fengtu Granary in Dali County and Huazhou International Shadow Puppetry Cultural Park. Through these visits, they experienced the beauty of “made in China” and Chinese folklore, learnt Chinese culture and marvelled at the charm of Chinese culture with their hands-on experience of Chinese intangible cultural heritage.
Firstly, these foreign students came to Xi’an YinQiao Dairy, the largest dairy producer and seller in Northwest China. In the company’s conference room, the students watched its promotional video and had a deep understanding of the company’s business philosophy and corporate culture, and listened carefully to the presentation by Zhao Yanbo, Director of the Executive Office of the Group. Afterwards, guided by the company’s staff members, the foreign students visited the production line and the Quality Inspection Center of the enterprise, and exchanged views on some issues. Then they visited Fuping Pottery Art Village, which is a member of the International Academy of Ceramics, a NGO official partner of UNESCO, and is also a permanent venue for the International Ceramic Magazine Editors Symposium. There, the students were deeply impressed by the Pottery Studio displaying a wide array of pottery wares, the Pottery Cave capturing your imagination about pottery, the Pottery Exhibition Hall permanently exhibiting a collection of upscale pottery works from France, the United States, Canada and other countries, and the fun experience of making clay into pottery.
On June 10, the international students visited Huazhou International Shadow Puppetry Cultural Park. They listened to the staff’s introduction to the process and history of shadow puppet making, and also watched a shadow play and a performance of Laoqiang singing. The shadow play aroused so much interest from the students that some of them couldn’t help walking behind the screen after the show to find out what’s happening behind the scene. Many students even tried to put on their own shadow play. In the afternoon, the students visited Fengtu Granary in Chaoyi Town, Dali County, which is one of the few existing large granaries built in Qing Dynasty. What’s extraordinary is that the granary is still in use and is now managed by Chaoyi Grain Station in Dali County. The students learnt a lot about the current practices of food management in the granary, as well as the ancient granary’s policies, history and culture, and scientific architectural design and sound drainage system. They were amazed by the charm of ancient granary architecture.
The event helped the foreign students to learn about the unique natural environment, historical process, cultural traditions and social system of China, and eliminate the stereotypes caused by cultural barriers and misunderstandings. At the same time, it also enabled them to familiarize themselves with the national conditions and traditional customs of China as soon as possible, and enhanced their socialising skills.
China itself is a world. Exploring China, we can learn many Interesting background of the present lifestyle and culture of China. From this trip we learned about dairy production of China, history of pottery culture and shadow play museum. Visiting the warehouse in Dali we came to know the revolt leader of China. Overall what we perceived from this tour was that the pace of development of China is rapid due to consistent hard work and determination of Chinese people. The world can learn many things from China and Chinese people. Besides, It was a refreshment for us from the daily hectic schedule of study and hospital duty. Shortly, it was a educational and refreshment trip. Thank you CSC and SIE for arranging this trip.
At the end of the event, the students were reluctant to leave. On their way back, they wrote down their memories of this journey. A students from Nepal wrote: China itself is a world. Exploring China, we can learn many Interesting background of the present lifestyle and culture of China. From this trip we learned about dairy production of China, history of pottery culture and shadow play museum. Visiting the warehouse in Dali we came to know the revolt leader of China. Overall what we perceived from this tour was that the pace of development of China is rapid due to consistent hard work and determination of Chinese people. The world can learn many things from China and Chinese people. Besides, It was a refreshment for us from the daily hectic schedule of study and hospital duty. Shortly, it was a educational and refreshment trip. Thank you CSC and SIE for arranging this trip.
Muhammad Faakhar from Pakistan wrote: This tour was bit new and more informative rather than just having fun all around. Well I am not reluctant to say that I really realized for very first time in my life about real culture and ancient history of China along with hard work and dedication of Chinese people making China as a unique and special nation.
We got chance to visit china’s one of the top dairy group named YINQIAO DAIRY GROUP. Workers in company were so efficient and they gave presentations about their products and provided us significance of ONE BELT ONE ROAD and SILK ROAD and its impact on economy on trade and business.
The most amazing and awesome experience was Shadow Playing Garden which made me consider and understand how Chinese people used to entertain themselves in villages and small town with great performances delivered by old but energetic team of artists.
Chinese traditional musical instruments were of great importance with melodious music.
Mwaambambi Elizabeth Nkhata from Zambia wrote：As this was such a rare chance, I took the first opportunity I got to take a school trip to meet new people and see new places. To have the privilege for such an intimate tour of the country is heartwarming. The scenery was beautiful not just our destinations but during the bus rides as well. I love ancient architecture, to learn about the rich history of China and a get a glimpse into life during those time periods. The highlight of the trip was the shadow puppet show, definitely something off my bucket list. It was amazing and I was not disappointed. Thanks to CSC and xjtu for this special opportunity. I really enjoyed it and hope for more awesome experiences in the future.