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Foreign expats embrace Nantong culture in Chongchuan | Updated: 2023-08-25 11:02
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A foreign expat helps make a piece of blue calico cloth. [Photo/WeChat account of chongchuanonline]

Ten foreign expats living in Nantong, a city in East China's Jiangsu province, embarked on a journey to explore the local heritage and culture in the city's Chongchuan district on Aug 22, where they had the chance to experience local traditions such as blue calico printing and dyeing, Mei'an guqin music, and tea culture.

At the Blue Calico Museum, the expats learned about the history and evolution of Nantong blue calico dyeing, a national-level intangible cultural heritage, and its role in folk life.

The interactive session provided them with hands-on experience, allowing them to create their very own blue calico cloth. Wissal from Morocco expressed her elation at creating a piece of art. "Participating in the creation of blue calico cloth was a meaningful experience. It deepened my appreciation for China's cultural heritage and left me with a lasting impression of Nantong."

In addition, the expats virtually explored an ongoing blue calico cloth exhibition in Beijing, which served to amplify their understanding and admiration for this intangible cultural treasure.

Foreigners enjoy the tea ceremony and Mei'an guqin performance. [Photo/WeChat account of chongchuanonline]

At the Mei'an Library, foreign guests enjoyed the soothing sounds of the ancient Mei'an guqin, a distinguished school of guqin art in China. This was followed by a graceful tea ceremony.

"The slow melodies of the guqin are really relaxing. It's been a fantastic experience," said Noviani from Indonesia.

The event was part of the "Fall in Love with Nantong" series, a collaborative effort between Nantong's municipal foreign affairs office and information office. By actively involving foreign residents in diverse cultural and charitable activities, the initiative aims to foster interactions between local citizens and expats, facilitating a smoother integration process for the latter within Nantong.

Looking ahead, Chongchuan is committed to hosting a continuing series of cultural exchanges designed to showcase the charm and culture of Nantong to a global audience.

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