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Appreciating Dunhuang culture and celebrating the Dragon Boat Festival together
Author:She Junyi  Date:2022-07-16  Clicks:

It was May 5 of the lunar calendar when, according to Chinese traditions and culture, the Dragon Boat Festival would be celebrated with mugwort and rice dumplings. In order to enrich the campus life of foreign teachers and their experiences of Chinese culture, on May 27, the Office of International Affairs of WHU (OIA) organized a visit to the special exhibition on the Dunhuang Grottoes at Wuhan University’s Wanlin Art Museum (WAM) and held a symposium on the Dragon Boat Festival for more than 20 foreign teachers.

Group photo of foreign teachers on the terrace of WAM

At the special exhibition on the Dunhuang Grottoes, the volunteer docent of WAM offered explanations in English to facilitate the foreign teachers understanding of Dunhuang culture. Under the guidance of the docent, the foreign teachers were immersed in the visit of the Reclining Buddha, and Dunhuang Caves 285, 17, and 275. They could not hide their eagerness to have a closer look at the miraculous woodblock print in Huiwen, the Syriac Bible, and Persian silver coins that had left Dunhuang for their first outreach. They also developed a deeper understanding of the Northern Dynasties' Mahabharata Sutra scrolls, the embroidered sermons of the Northern Wei Dynasty, the Tang Dynastys Mahayana Sutra, the Tibetan Mahayana Immeasurable Life Sutra, the Eastern Jin Dynastys Biography of Bu Zhi of Records of the Three Kingdoms, and many other national First Grade Cultural Relics. Stopping to appreciate and discuss with one another, the foreign teachers showed a strong interest in Dunhuang culture. Many of them said they would visit Dunhuang in Gansu in the future to see the real Mogao Grottoes in person.

Volunteer docent giving English explanations to foreign teachers

Foreign teachers stop to take photos in front of the exhibits

After visiting the exhibition, the foreign teachers moved to the third floor of WAM to participate in the Dragon Boat Festival symposium, experiencing a festive atmosphere in advance of the festival. At the symposium, the host, Chen Jie, deputy director of the OIA, first introduced the origin, traditional customs and food of the Dragon Boat Festival. The foreign teachers listened with great interest and commented enthusiastically. For instance, Mr. Abe from Iraq and Mr. Suzuki from Japan shared similar traditional festivals in their own countries at the symposium. The atmosphere was lively and cordial as they talked about festivals, culture, and life at Wuhan University. The award ceremony of Spring Impressions of WHU (SI) was also included on the agenda of the symposium, during which Li Xiaoshu, director of the OIA, presented awards to seven foreign teachers. SI is an online cultural activity held by the OIA in April, aiming to encourage foreign teachers to record the spring scenery of Wuhan University from multiple angles, which has received enthusiastic responses from foreign teachers.

First prize recipient of SI, Mohamed Freeshah from the School of Remote Sensing and Information Engineering

Co-recipient of the second prize, Sylvia Schroeder from the School of Foreign Languages and Literature

Co-recipient of the second prize, Ghamgeen Izat Rashed from the School of Electrical Engineering

Co-recipient of the second prize, Takayuki Suzuki from the School of Urban Design

At the end of the event, Li gave the foreign teachers a sincere Dragon Boat Festival blessing and thanked them for their hard work and contributions to the international development of Wuhan University. He said that the OIA would further optimize its services and create a more comfortable working and living environment for foreign teachers. The foreign teachers said that the event had reinforced their understanding of Chinese traditional culture, and that they had enjoyed the pleasant festive atmosphere, once again appreciating the warm care from Wuhan University.

Photo by Liu Xuan

Edited by Zhang Jing, Li Jing, Cheng Shiwen, Zhang Yilin, Sylvia, Xi Bingqing


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