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San Francisco students celebrate 'graduation' from culture camp

China Daily | Updated: 2020-01-15 08:41
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Models present Hanfu, or traditional Chinese attire, to audience in San Francisco, the United States, Jan 12, 2020. Various examples of traditional Chinese culture were showcased at San Francisco Public Library on Sunday to celebrate the upcoming Chinese Lunar New Year, which falls on Jan 25 this year.[Photo/Xinhua]

SAN FRANCISCO-More than 300 students from overseas Chinese families celebrated this month the completion of their training at a Chinese culture winter camp with new skills and knowledge about China.

The mostly English-speaking students from the San Francisco-based Central Chinese High School in America took to the stage to showcase their newly-acquired skills in traditional Chinese culture, such as paper-cutting, clay modeling, knot-making, ethnic group dancing, and recitation of ancient poems in Mandarin.

The two-week camp provided them with convenient access to education about Chinese culture under the direct instruction of 12 Chinese teachers selected from 10 schools in East China's Jiangsu province.

Ju Hua, chief of the Chinese teachers' delegation, says: "In about 11 days, the Chinese teachers taught more than 300 kids from overseas Chinese families to learn how to make traditional handicrafts unique to China, including paper-cutting, the playing of traditional Chinese musical instruments and Chinese kung fu."

Ju says that the training at the 2019 Winter Camp of Chinese Culture Wonderland, co-organized by China's Jiangsu province and the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association in San Francisco, provided the students with a good opportunity to experience in person the profoundness and charm of traditional Chinese culture, which will help them eventually become "ambassadors" of friendly exchanges between China and the United States.

Cai Bingle, headmaster of the Central Chinese High School in America, says the winter camp was a valuable platform for the students of Chinese descent, who were mostly born in the US, to learn traditional Chinese culture "at a very close distance" by engaging directly with teachers from China.

"The two-week-long camp, though short in length, was a fruitful training session for the kids, who previously had little knowledge about Chinese culture, but acquired new information about the country where their parents came from," Cai says. "I believe they will have a better idea about Chinese culture after their training at the camp and develop new identities and connections with China."

Grace Ou, a student from the school, says that she had little knowledge about Chinese culture before, but the winter camp gave her a deeper insight into Chinese culture that goes back thousands of years. She says she also feels honored to be of Chinese heritage.

"We learned the culture of our Chinese heritage, and with that we will become ambassadors to help carry on both Chinese culture and the friendship between China and the United States," she says.


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