Hangzhou “Masters” of Intangible Cultural Heritage make an exception to “Apprentice” foreigners

During the early part of this year (Jan-June), Hangzhou’s Tourism Committee launched an “Experiencing Hangzhou as an apprentice—craft learning” program, selecting 16 foreigners who live, study, or travel in Zhejiang Province. These chosen few were brought to eight social-info-access spots for international cultural exchange such as Wensli Group Co.Ltd, Wangxingji Fan Co.,Ltd, and Xiling Seal-engravers’ Society, and were each taught by the “teachers” there.  This aims to give foreigners a feel for Hangzhou Intangible Heritage Cultures and, at the same time, to promote Hangzhou’s tourism in a different light.

Last week, during the visit,
Jianhua Li, the CEO of Wensli Group Co.,Ltd spent a morning teaching two “apprentices”the knowledge of silk. Although it is the first time to try weaving silk, Djuka, the Serbian girl, and Lena, a German girl, were both fully engaged. Dedicated in the research and the promotion of Silk culture, Jianhua Li has his own perspective upon the promotion of silk culture. He said, “Chinese people are born with the affinity for silk, while foreigners are attracted by silk from understanding and appreciating it.”

Jianhua Li simplifies the complicated knowledge, and led the two foreign students to the glamour of silk culture with the greatest Eastern artistic style. It is their first visit to China; also the first time Djuka and Lena learn about silk culture and experience traditional weaving. “Everything is interesting and amazing,” said Lena. Even though it has been two years since she has come to China, she has never tried and imagined anything else, other than Chinese Cartography and Hangzhou cuisine. There are such a lot of things she can experience in Hangzhou.

Launched alongside the Social-info-access spots for international cultural exchange, the “Experiencing Hangzhou as an apprentice—craft learning” program includes eight topics, which are making traditional fans, engraving seals, weaving silk, making pottery, visiting seafood markets, cooking Hangzhou cuisine, learning about medicinal herbs, and living a Hangzhou lifestyle. It aims at providing foreign travelers with the most authentic cultural and living experiences.

Last year, Hangzhou released 40 social-info-access spots for international cultural exchange 2017-2018, which covers six aspects: urban public services, industrial tourism, rural life, social life, social politics, and urban life. The spokesperson of Hangzhou’s Tourism Commission revealed that these social-info-access spots are not only the representatives of Hangzhou culture and lifestyle, but also the multilingual channels which provide international visitors with guidelines about Hangzhou, keeping foreign visitors interested and engaged in the ever-changing city.  Around the end of July, these social-info-access spots will be open for booking online, making it easier for visitors to understand and experience Hangzhou which, in turn, expands the wealth of possibilities for tourists.