Mayor Ji's Global Villages
Christoph Schubert, 2017-02-09

On January 25, Ji Junmin, Jinhua Deputy Party Chief and Mayor, visited the participants of the Spring Festival Session of the Jinhua Homestay in the villages of Suoyuan and Siping. There, Mayor Ji stressed that the idea of “family” (jiā) is a major feature of Chinese culture, and therefore returning home during Spring Festival is fundamental; on the occasion of the Spring Festival Session of the Jinhua Homestay Project, it is crucial to have the participants feel the warmth and coziness of Jinhua's historical villages: no matter where these participants will go, Jinhua will always feel like a home to them. Lin Danjun, Deputy Mayor, and Zhou Jianmin, Secretary General of the Municipal People's Government, participated in the event.

Organized by Jinhua Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, the Spring Festival Session offered the chance to celebrate Spring Festival in Jinhua to 90 China-based international students coming from 37 countries, including the UK, USA, Finland, Germany, India, Russia, Japan, and Thailand. The project consisted of a seven-day stay in four different villages: Suoyuan in Jindong District, Siping in Tangxi, Yuyuan in Wuyi, and Zhiyan in Lanxi. The idea of inviting such participants aims to count on their experience to enhance the international fame of Jinhua.

A major feature of Chinese New Year's culture is the idea of returning home, where our family is. This session of our project aims to make every participant from all over the world feel like they have their own Chinese family in Jinhua.
Mayor Ji Junmin

In Suoyuan 23 students arrived from 17 countries. Despite the cold winter temperature, a football match was played between representatives of the international students and a team from Jinhua Tencent Crowd Innovation Project. Mayor Ji gave the start to the match and hoped that Jinhua Tencent Crowd Innovation would invite more groups of international students from around China to take part in further sporting events and to promote Jinhua's historical villages. He added that Jinhua's historical villages not only can result in a very popular Internet phenomenon, but can also make Suoyuan become a popular hit itself by upgrading the local houses to Home+ accommodations, which would provide their guests with starred-hotel-like facilities, a cozy and familiar atmosphere, and an unforgettable experience of Chinese tradition.

As for Siping, 22 students from 15 countries participated in the project. Mayor Ji visited the venues where the students experienced village folk customs workshops, Virtual Reality Pavilion, and joined in rural-themed activities, including rope skipping games. On the occasion, Mayor Ji asked the participants, “If you were to choose a character to describe Chinese New Year's culture, which one would you pick?” Some said “blessing” (fú), others said “spring” (chūn).

Mayor Ji commented: “All of those are good, and I was thinking of the character ‘family.’ A major feature of Chinese New Year's culture is the idea of returning home, where our family is. This session of our project aims to make every participant from all over the world feel like they have their own Chinese family in Jinhua. For all of the international students who came to Siping and Jinhua, we want to welcome you with the warmth and coziness of a family.”

More news on the the Spring Festival Session of the Jinhua Homestay Project.

By Wu Qian, translated by Marco Lovisetto, edited by Kendra Fiddler and Christoph Schubert, originally published on the English website of Jinhua Municipal People's Government.

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