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Late night learning for new skills

In Wuhan, night schools provide varied classes, encouraging relaxation, friendship, and a love for learning outside of work.

By LIU KUN in Wuhan and LI XINRAN | China Daily | Updated: 2024-04-17 05:46
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Students attend an African drumming class. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Organized and initiated by the Wuhan Youth League Committee, a variety of classes, including latte art, makeup, African drumming, and calligraphy, have been offered in district cultural centers and community hubs since last November. This initiative follows extensive research into the needs and interests of young people.

Wang Chengcheng, 26, is a student attending the latte art class at the Night School for Youths at a community hub in Wuhan, Central China's Hubei province. She heavily relies on coffee to get through the day, explaining that her coffee intake varies depending on her workload: once or twice a week when things are light, but increases to one cup a day when she's busy.

"I've tried frothing milk myself, but I've never attempted latte art before. Our instructor could craft intricate designs like lions, pandas, and monkeys. It's truly an art," she said.

After a few classes, she can now draw a heart on her latte. "I've discovered there's so much more to coffee than just a beverage," she said.

Zhang Cheng, a 38-year-old middle school art teacher, joined the calligraphy class. "When I was a child, I studied to improve myself. But now I'm studying for pleasure and relaxation," she said.

Zhang had minimal practice in calligraphy, mostly with her amateur father during her childhood.

"I'm basically a beginner, but there's no pressure in these classes. We're not forced to study here or have any requirements to fulfill; the whole environment is lighthearted and relaxing," she said.

Students attend a dancing class. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Zhang also mentioned that her instructor, Cheng Weihong, was very patient and provided individual guidance to each student.

Cheng is a member of the Hubei Provincial Calligraphers Association with over 20 years of teaching experience.

"A friend introduced me to teach here, and I was told that a lot of young people are eager to learn more about traditional Chinese culture and calligraphy," he said.

According to Cheng, the majority of his students are eager and focused young women in their 20s and 30s, most of whom were beginners in this subject.

"I believe that practicing Chinese calligraphy not only allows them to explore Chinese culture and aesthetics but also offers a meditative experience," he said.

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