Five American school principals visit the classrooms of Furen High School, and experience lion dancing and seal cutting

[Source] [Time]    2016-11-18 15:45:28 

When Western culture and traditional Chinese culture collide, what kind of sparks will fly? Yesterday morning, five school principals from the US, as part of the 2016 “Chinese Bridge - American Principals' China Tour”, visited Furen High School in Nan’an District, Chongqing, where they had a direct, first-hand experience of the charm of Chinese traditional culture.

The five American school principals to visit Furen High School respectively represented Atlantic Technical College and High School, Broward County Public School, Licking Heights High School, and Houston Independent School District. The principals participated in a day-long series of activities at Furen High School, in which they visited various levels and types of the school’s unique classes.

The American principals try their hand at martial arts with the Chongqing students

Throughout the event not only did the Furen High School students put on cheerleading and song and dance shows, the school martial arts team also prepared incredible lion dancing and Kung Fu performances. With their skillful and agile moves, the team won round after round of enthusiastic applause from the viewers.

After the shows, several American principals could not hold back their excitement, each taking to the performance area, and with guidance from the team members and martial arts teacher, had an up-close experience with lion dancing, after which they showed off what they learned, then tried their hand against the members of the martial arts team.

American principals experiencing lion dancing

Furen High School students and American principals performing alongside on the stage

According to Wang Mingxia, Furen High School’s Director of Academic Affairs, the martial arts class is a special class forming part of their “double cultivation” system. Aside from the school’s own physical education teacher, they also hired a professional martial arts coach, to help cultivate the students’ interest and skills in martial arts, as well as the students’ overall quality.

Watching videos and practicing calligraphy; students and teachers from China and the US sing Edelweiss together

“Edelweiss, Edelweiss, every morning you greet me…” The melody of the song Edelweiss, accompanied by the crisp sound of the clarinet, echoed throughout the room. The American principals took to the stage, and along with the teachers and students of Furen High School, sang a bilingual version of Edelweiss together.

American principals, teachers and students of Furen High School singing Edelweiss

How do you hold a calligraphy brush? How do you write Chinese characters? How do you make Chinese food? The grade 11 #6 English class and seal making class (part of traditional Chinese painting) were also joyfully attended by the American principals. Through the students’ presentations about the cuisines of Hunan, Sichuan and Suzhou, accompanied with photos of representative dishes from each type of cuisine and videos on how to make them, the principals from the US were able to very directly and vividly get a taste of how “enticing” Chinese cuisine can be.

Furen High School students teaching the American principals how to hold a calligraphy brush

Representatives of Furen High School offering souvenirs to the visiting American principals

Furen High School Principal Liu Zheng said that this visit not only helps the American principals in directly understanding and experiencing Chinese culture, it also expands the Chinese students’ horizons, promoting education-oriented communication and collaboration between China and the US.

Photos by Shi Wei

Nov 15th, 2016 (Xinhuanet Chongqing Education Channel)