Foreign Teachers and Students in HBU Enjoyed an Immersive Experience of Chinese Minor New Year Cultures
January 14th, 2023—the 23rd day of the twelfth lunar month in 2022—came at a time of the traditional festival “Minor New Year” in northern China. Hence HBU organized its foreign teachers and international students in Baoding to participate in one of the serial activities “Baoding in Foreigners Eyes”—“Home is Where the Heart is; Together We Talk About the Happy Chinese New Year”, which was sponsored by the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of Baoding Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China and the Publicity Department of the Jingxiu District Committee of the Communist Party of China, and co-organized by the Yulan Garden Community. In this activity, 17 foreign teachers and students in HBU from 9 countries, including Portugal, Egypt, Russia, Japan, Bangladesh, Niger, Brazil, Vietnam and Indonesia, walked into the Yulan Garden Community in Jingxiu District to experience the traditional Chinese “Minor New Year” cultures.
They experienced traditional Chinese customs in Minor New Year with residents in the community, including playing waist drums and making lanterns, bread in various shapes and Sugar-coated Haws on a Stick, as well as making dumplings and writing Spring Festival couplets and the Chinese character of “Fu”, spent the “Minor New Year” with the community and enjoyed the immersive experience of traditional Chinese culture. This colorful event combined folk customs with modern atmosphere, allowed foreign friends to personally feel the warmth, openness and tolerance of Baoding citizens and the “strong sense of new year” which belongs to the Chinese, and enhanced the sense of integration and belonging of foreigners to Baoding. All these foreign friends expressed that such activities not only allowed them to learn more about Chinese traditional cultures, but also made them feel a strong enthusiasm and feeling of home in a foreign country.
Nunu, a foreign teacher from Portugal, said that he has been in China for seven years, which is a particularly precious memory. In the past 7 years, he has been obsessed with Chinese cultures, loved to visit Baoding's scenic spots and parks, and fell in love with Baoding food... He has spent the Spring Festival in Baoding for several times and knew a lot about local traditions. Nunu said that it made him feel warm to sit with Chinese friends for reunion dinner and play games on the day of Minor New Year.
Hima, an international student from Niger, played the waist drum under the guidance of Li Pingyun, a waist drum teacher. He said: "In today's activity, I experienced not only the Chinese waist drum, but also the making skills of the He’s Sugar-coated Haws on a Stick of Manchu, an intangible cultural heritage in Baoding. In addition, I also made bread in various shapes and dumplings with my classmates, and experienced the time-honored traditional cultures of China.” Hima also expressed that he will share his experiences with friends in Niger so that more people will understand and fall in love with China.
Paola Belen, a foreign teacher from Portugal, said: "Today I am here for the Chinese Litter New Year. I really like Chinese culture, and the activities I participated today are very interesting and meaningful. We made dumplings and played games, which brought me a good experience. I would like to thank HBU and Baoding for giving me this opportunity to experience Chinese traditional cultures.”
Mohamed Bekhit, a foreign teacher from Egypt, has been in Baoding for ten years and already considers it as his second hometown. He said: “Baoding is a very friendly city, and the people here are very welcoming. Moreover, Baoding is becoming more and more open, and there come increasing foreign friends. I have always been very interested in Chinese traditional cultures, and I will spread Chinese traditional cultures to my friends and family when I return to Egypt in the future.”
This event is the first phase of 2023 “Baoding in Foreigners Eyes” planned by the Foreign Affairs Commission of Baoding Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, aiming to implement the principles of the 20th CPC National Congress, strengthen international communication capacity building, more fully and clearly display Chinese stories and the ideological and spiritual power behind them, tell Chinese stories and Baoding stories to the world, and spread Chinese voices and Baoding voices. It also allowed foreign friends to walk into the lives of ordinary people in Baoding, personally experience the traditional folk customs which belong to the Chinese people, witness the connotation of Baoding to build a modern city with quality of life, effectively enhance the sense of integration and belonging of foreigners to Baoding, promote cultural self-confidence with practical actions, and strengthen the communication and influence of Chinese civilization. All foreign teachers and international students in this activity are from HBU, and the activity has produced good social responses: People’s Daily, China Daily, Guangming Daily, CRI Online, Baoding Municipal People’s Government Foreign Affairs Office, Baoding Evening News, Baoding News Broadcast, Jingxiu Media and many other media have successively interviewed and reported on these foreign teachers and students in HBU.
HBU has maintained business contacts with the Foreign Affairs Commission of Baoding Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China, the Publicity Department of the Jingxiu District Committee of the Communist Party of China and other government departments, and has established friendly cooperation and friendship with them. In the future, we will continue to strengthen liaison and cooperation with foreign affairs departments of Hebei Province and cities, carry out a series of people-to-people exchange activities around foreign teachers and international students in China, tell Chinese stories and spread Chinese voices, and help HBU improve its international communication ability and international development.
Participants gathered together to experience and spread traditional Chinese cultures
Participants worked together to make bread in various shapes with strong atmosphere of Spring Festival.