Newsletter: Experiencing Chinese Culture at "Long Night of Sciences" Held in Berlin

[Source] [Time]    2018-06-14 11:57:45 

In a classroom at the Confucius Institute of Free University of Berlin in Germany, about 8 Germans hold writing brushes and follow the teacher's instruction to draw bamboos in clean strokes. In another classroom, a dozen Germans sitting by a long table are learning Chinese tea arts. Outside the classrooms, a Hanfu show is displaying the evolution of Chinese traditional costumes, which brings the German audience back to the Qin, Han, Tang, Ming and Qing Dynasty...

On the evening of June 9th, the annual “Long Night of Sciences” kicked off in Berlin. More than 70 scientific research institutes and enterprises were open to the public. Among them were not only natural science institutes, providers of science education, but also humanities and social science institutions, and the Confucius Institute of Free University of Berlin.

It seems undemanding to draw an ink wash painting with only four or five bamboo joints and a few bamboo leaves, but it is not easy to finish it in a delicate manner. Several Germans at the event got down to practicing on newspapers repeatedly before finishing their paintings on rice paper.

Jonathan, the manager of a music software company in Berlin, became interested in ink wash painting after taking a class. Seizing the opportunity provided by the event, Jonathan took his friends and his father, who came to Berlin to visit him, to experience the cultural programs. He told a reporter that it was interesting to draw ink wash painting, but more practice was still needed because it was hard for him to control the writing brush.

At 8 p.m.,the visitors who had finished calligraphy, painting and tea art classes came to the Hanfu show. Under traditional Chinese music accompaniment, the images of the Great Wall and the Terracotta Warriors appeared in the projection. Two Chinese students in clothes of the Emperor and Empress style of the Qin and Han Dynasties slowly walked onto the stage. Later, volunteer models in court costumes of the Tang Dynasty, scholar costumes of the Song Dynasty, and wedding dresses of the Ming Dynasty came on the stage one by one against the projection background of the painting of “Along the River During Qingming Festival”, the Forbidden City and relevant pictures of each dynasty.

After the model show, the host introduced the historical background, celebrity anecdotes, and costume characteristics of each dynasty in chronological order.

Johanna, a graduate student of Technical University of Berlin, told the reporter, “For me, this Hanfu show is very exotic and the models presented the Hanfu in an elegant way. I’m very interested in hairstyles and headdresses for different dynasties.” Johanna said she is currently learning Chinese, and she is keen on Chinese culture. After then, she showed the characters “天下” (the World) that she had just written in the calligraphy class. "This is my first calligraphy work."

A photo exhibition was also held at the event in the Confucius Institute of Free University of Berlin. Over 100 photographs were taken by Luo Meijun, German President of the Confucius Institute, when she studied in China in the 1970s.

(Story by Tian Ying, Xinhua News Agency, Berlin, June 10)

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