World / Asia-Pacific

Koreans help Sichuan kids learn music and dance

By Huang Zhiling ( Updated: 2016-05-26 17:13

Forty pupils sat in a circle in a well-furnished music classroom, passing a toy panda to the accompaniment of music.

Whenever music stopped, anyone failing to pass the panda to the next one would have to singsong or dance.

The game played in the Fengxi Town School in Maoxian county in Sichuan province on Wednesday morning was unusual because there were five Korean girls in the group.

They were member of I.O.I, a popular vocal performance group in Korea.

Pinky, one of them, performed a Korean dance after failing to pass the panda to a student next to her.

"Korean sisters (from I.O.I) arrived on Monday to teach us Korean songs and dance for two days," said Dong Maoting, an 11-year-old fourth grader dressed in her ethnic Qiang costume.

Maoxian has the largest number of Qiang people than any other county in China. And 95 percent of the students in the Fengxi Town School are ethnic Qiang people.

"Qiang people are gifted in singing and dancing. But our school used to lack decent music equipment. The CJ Group in Korea decorated our music classroom and donated the multimedia music teaching equipment," said headmaster Chen Luhua.

His school has benefited from the CJ Dream-Sharing Music Classroom Project launched by the CJ Group.

Set up in 1953, the group is a Korean conglomerate holding company headquartered in Seoul. It operates businesses in various sectors, including food and food service, biotechnology, entertainment and media and logistics.

"CJ has more than 20 plants and nearly 20,000 employees in China," said Jae-Min BAE, vice-president of the public relation division with the CJ Group China Headquarters in Beijing.

In 2012, the CJ Group and the China Friendship Foundation for Peace and Development jointly launched a fund to invest in the CJ Dream-Sharing Music Classroom Project in China.

The project focuses on decorating music classrooms, donation of music equipment to schools and arrival of Korean entertainment stars to teach students songs and dance in the schools.

Since then, the project has benefited 12 schools in Beijing, Hubei, Shandong and Sichuan provinces and nearly 10,000 students.

According to Zhu Hong, deputy general manger of the public relations team of the CJ Group China, the beneficiaries of the project are primarily schools in less developed areas and schools with left-behind children.

Students in the schools seldom get a chance to meet people from the outside world and so enjoy interacting with Korean stars, which in turn move the stars. Zhu said the Korean stars teach students very well.

"Music has no barrier. Within only one or two days, students can learn Korean songs although the teachers and students speak different languages," she said.

It was the first time that the Korean girls had visited Sichuan.

NaYoung, their team leader, said that they were moved by the students because the students aimed high and loved life despite hardships.

"The two days in the school will be our beautiful memory. We will pray for the realization of their dreams," she said.

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