Chongqing - Chinese and foreign teenagers immersed themselves in Chinese traditional culture in Chongqing on May 21st, by learning Chinese traditional apparel crafts, wearing cheongsam, and participating in a fashion show.
The "Cheongsam and Chinese Culture" exploration activity kicked off at Central Primary School in Shixi Town, Nanchuan District, Chongqing.
The event began with a dragon dance, an intangible cultural heritage at the municipal level. Five experience areas were set up on the playground, attracting numerous teenagers. In the tie-dying area, students tried their hand at creating their patterns under the guidance of a teacher.
Tie-dying, an ancient Chinese traditional craft, involves two main steps: tying the fabric and immersing it in dyes. Weavers use yarn, thread, and rope to tie the fabric tightly, emphasizing the importance of using rubber bands. Afterward, the fabric is wetted and immersed in dyes for 20 minutes. Finally, the rubber bands are removed, revealing a beautiful pattern.
In the weaving area, teenagers learned about the theory of Chinese traditional weaving crafts and put it into practice, finding it more challenging than they had imagined. They also experienced embroidery, learned how to paint on iron plates, and even made cheongsam dresses.
Following the lead of professional models, students, parents, and teachers held a cheongsam fashion show. Simultaneously, another cheongsam show occurred in an extracurricular practice base in a rice field.
According to the parents of the students, this activity provided their children with an opportunity to showcase themselves, boosting their confidence and strengthening the parent-child relationship. More than 160 people participated in this event, as mentioned by a representative from the primary school.
Over ten foreign teachers and students from KL International School of Chongqing Bashu - KLIS also joined, witnessing the cheongsam show, enjoying a Guzheng performance, and learning traditional Chinese crafts such as weaving, embroidery, and tie-dying. They even had the chance to witness a dragon dance and visit terraced fields, deepening their understanding of Chinese rice field culture.
Tan Runfeng, the principal of Central Primary School, quoted Guo Moruo, a Chinese calligrapher and writer known for his poetry, who stated that costumes symbolize (Chinese) culture and visualize thinking. The school organized various activities such as lectures, poster drawings, and cheongsam designs to pass on the culture of cheongsam to the younger generation. During this time, the school also trained students to walk the runway in cheongsam attire confidently.
The organizer explained that the series of events aimed to utilize the cheongsam, a symbol of China, to break cultural boundaries and establish a brand-new bridge for Chinese and foreign teenagers to communicate and exchange cultures. By focusing on traditional and fashion culture, these activities promoted in-depth international exchange in humanistic education and formed a positive cycle.
(Yang Yuanchun, as an intern, also contributed to the report.)
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