Overseas Chinese students embrace richness of traditional culture
Published: Aug 13, 2023 11:30 PM
Visitors to the Palace Museum in Beijing tour an exhibit themed on traditional celebrations of China's Spring Festival. Pictures with menshen, or door gods - figures representing courage - are posted on doors to ward off evil spirits. Spring Festival will fall on February 5. Photo: IC

 Photo: IC

Navigating through the timeless beauty of a traditional Chinese garden, a group of overseas Chinese students ardently set out on an exciting cultural journey in the heart of Beijing, China's capital city.

Ranging from six to 24 years old, these students come with an array of fervent interests. Some love calligraphy, others are skilled in Chinese painting, a few enjoy designing Chinese characters, and some are drawn to the enchanting realm of performing traditional Chinese music.

However, what's common among most of them is that their journey into the heart of traditional Chinese culture began at an early age.

"This is the first time my daughter has visited Beijing, and she has been looking forward to climbing the Great Wall and savoring some traditional snacks," said Wu Rongjing from Australia, who is the mother of a six-year-old named Dorothy Wanyue Lin.

"We used to point out Beijing's location to her on the map, but now she can see the ancient and modern aspects of Beijing with her own eyes, which deepens her understanding of China," Wu said.

When it comes to nurturing children's interests and early knowledge about traditional Chinese culture, parents have various options.

Chenshen Huang from New Zealand said that her two sons have been interested in music since childhood. "They tried learning the piano but eventually chose the Chinese traditional instruments Erhu and Yangqin, and they've been dedicatedly learning these instruments ever since."

During the learning process, these children have not only honed their musical talents but have also become fully absorbed in the enchanting melodies of traditional Chinese folk music, Huang said. 

Apart from the household environment, Chinese schools also serve as crucial means for overseas Chinese youth to understand traditional culture.

Liu Yan, a teacher from a Chinese language school in London, said that when designing Chinese language courses, teachers always uphold the principles of inheriting and promoting the spirit of Chinese culture.