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Traditional Chinese culture experience for international students: making Zongzi during Dragon Boat Festival
Author:Bao Yanran,Huang Shuting  Date:2021-06-26  Clicks:

On June 10, more than 40 international students took part in a traditional Chinese culture experience event held by the School of International Education of WHU, where they learned how to make Zongzi (a special rice dumpling for celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival).

Prof. Zhou Xining giving a lecture

During this event, Prof. Zhou Xining was invited to give a lecture themed Dragon Boat Festival and Traditional Chinese Culture. He introduced the cultural connotation and local customs embedded in Dragon Boats and Dragon Boat Festival by elaborating on the underlying cultural elements of every Chinese character. He also showed pictures of people eating Zongzi, drinking realgar wine, hanging wormwood and tying five-color silk threads. His sense of humor and wit were well received by the students.

International students making Zongzi

After the students learned about the culture behind the Dragon Boat Festival, the counsellor introduced the process of making Zongzi. Due to inexperience, the students initially failed to tie the threads after they wrapped the glutinous rice in bamboo leaves, so the rice was scattered all over the ground. What’s more, the final shapes of Zongzi varied from triangle to circle to patty shape, making students burst out laughing. After plenty of practice, students became more skilled at making Zongzi. They proudly showed their work and shared their experience with each other.

Students taking photos with the Zongzi they made

“This event is meaningful and rewarding. The lecture about traditional Chinese culture given by the teacher is interesting. I’m more interested in traditional Chinese culture now,” Cao Yongqi, a doctoral student from South Korea said excitedly. For Su Haman, a postgraduate student from Pakistan, this event is not merely about making Zongzi, but also about connecting with the feeling of the Dragon Boat Festival more deeply.


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