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Cultural China: Traditional Chinese culture wins hearts of young people worldwide

BEIJING, Dec. 28 (Xinhua) — Thanks to the country’s protective efforts, traditional Chinese culture today is shining with a new vitality, which is not only increasingly appealing to younger generations domestically but has also been attracting young people from foreign countries.

Dressed up in a delicate traditional Chinese dress known as the Hanfu, JongMay Urbonya, an American lady with brown hair, shares her understanding of ancient Chinese poetry in perfect Mandarin in front of the camera.

“You can speak Mandarin much better than me,” “I am so impressed that you have such a deep understanding of the Chinese culture,”… her short videos have attracted a flood of thumbs up and positive comments from Chinese viewers online.

This 28-year-old vlogger, currently living in Beijing, started a company in April with an aim of promoting traditional Chinese culture on video-sharing platforms such as Douyin and Bilibili. Besides talking about literature, she also focuses on other themes, such as traditional Chinese clothing and dancing.

“It is great to see that my accounts have already attracted tens of thousands of subscribers just within several months,” she said.

JongMay was born in 1994 in Dalian, northeast China’s Liaoning Province, where her parents worked as English teachers. She returned to the United States at the age of six, and came back to China as a high school student in 2011. She studied Chinese dance in college and has been staying in Beijing ever since.

“When I was a kid, I was obsessed with the Chinese costume dramas and often threw blankets over my shoulders pretending to be an ancient Chinese princess,” she said, “So I thought I had to come to China to learn about the culture more deeply.”

Just like JongMay, Donghyun Kang, from Seoul, the Republic of Korea (ROK), has also found his second home in China. It was the country’s profound culture of ceramics that attracted the young artist.

After graduating from Seoul National University of Science and Technology (SeoulTech) as a major in ceramics in 2013, Kang came to China’s “porcelain capital,” Jingdezhen, in the eastern Jiangxi Province, where he entered Jingdezhen Ceramic University (JCU) for postgraduate study.

For years, Kang and his wife Hyunju Kim, also a ceramist who graduated from SeoulTech, have been staying in Jingdezhen where they run their own ceramic studio.

“I have been very interested in the art of Chinese ink painting,” Kang said. Many of his ceramic works, usually made of a mixture of different kinds of mud, feature patterns similar to the curves of mountains and waters in nature, showing a distinctive style of traditional Chinese ink painting.

Kim mainly focuses on making ceramic dessert tableware and porcelain paintings. She joins the local ceramic fair every week to sell her works and communicate with customers and other ceramic makers.

The couple is looking forward to the new year as they will both take on new challenges. “I am trying out some new materials and plan to develop new types of ceramic works next year,” Kang said, “My wife will hold a personal art exhibition in Jingdezhen in April.”

Some 1,000 km away from Jingdezhen, in the city of Xi’an, northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, Hakobyan Aleta, a 30-year-old Armenian lady, has also been enthusiastically engaged in traditional Chinese art.

Aleta came to China three years ago to work as an English teacher. She fell in love with the country’s natural sceneries and diverse customs, but what most fascinates her is the local folklore and mythology.

Once, she watched a shadow play show in a museum, during which the performers stayed behind a white curtain, manipulated shadow puppets carved from animal skins, and moved along with songs of local opera. She decided this was what she wanted to do, believing that the shadow play is an excellent way to tell stories of Chinese myths, legends and culture.

Learning from videos, Aleta managed to build a shadow play stage with a box, a light, white paper and other tools, and she also made shadow puppets using paper. “I print puppet figures on paper and then carefully cut and carve them into silhouettes,” she said.

She uploaded several videos of shadow plays online and won many audiences from Armenia. One of her videos attracted the attention of an Armenian television station, which aired the video earlier this year.

“Currently, I am working on a story from Thailand,” she said. “And I am still collecting more Chinese stories for my future works.” 

Source : EnglishNews