International Students in Shangjing
Nataliia Litvinova, 2018-01-08

    The Shangjing Session of the Jinhua Homestay project has been closed for three months, but its influence lives on. Particularly, its base camp – the village of Shangjing in Tangxi Town, Jinhua Economic and Development Zone – is becoming more and more popular with international students. This time students from 19 nations came to Shangjing from universities and colleges throughout China to participate in a 10-day research trip, experiencing the warmth of Home Plus, and enjoying excellent folk customs and the natural beauty of the village. In addition, they further perfected the village’s Fairy Tales Garden in Shangjing and thus enhanced the international fame of the Jinhua Homestay.

On December 24, Shangjing was filled with gaiety. The host families of Home Plus were well-dressed to welcome the arrival of the international students. By the sixth session of the JH, the hosts of each home have made profound friendships with the international students through their continuous contact. Now, the villagers are just as excited to welcome a new batch of international students as they are when students from previous sessions come back to visit.

In the afternoon, the international students’ research trip started in Shangjing. This event was organized by the Jinhua Development Zone Administrative Committee, Jinhua Development Zone Tourism Office, Tangxi Town government contractors, and Zhejiang Kangtai International Travel Co., Ltd.

The research activity focused on the theme of “millennial Shangjing, Fairy Tales Garden” and international students engaged in targeted research activities guided by wisdom and creativity on the subject of organically combining Shangjing’s local culture with its millenary history, and combining the myths of China with world fairytales children love. Students were divided into three research groups, and each group carried out its research activity according to its certain topic.

The first group, with the theme of “hand-paintings in Shangjing,” painted a series of fairytale pieces in the Fairy Tales Garden in Yuanji Hall. The Fairy Tales Garden, which is now popular with tourists, is the achievement of participants from the Shangjing Session the JH. The new fairytale paintings will be added to the previous students’ achievements.

The second group, with the theme of “fairytales in Shangjing,” designed a cartoon mascot and outdoor experience museum of Fairytale Kingdom. Through this atmosphere creation and image perfection, Shangjing’s Fairytale Kingdom will be formally shaped into a shining beacon of ancient village tourism, thus attracting more tourists.

The third group, with the theme of “learning Chinese culture in Shangjing,” finished the construction of printing and agriculture education hall. Here, international students were able to enjoy traditional Chinese handicrafts while making contributions to the village by using their own talents and expertise.

Shangjing has gradually become the popular option for research projects for students at home and abroad. A student from Poland said that before coming to China, she only knew China from social media; after coming to Shangjing, she discovered that what she had known was just the tip of the iceberg. She was looking forward to learning about the profound Chinese culture through this event. After returning to her country, she can share her story with her family and friends and spread the Story of Jinhua, as well as the “Story of Shangjing,” all over the world. (By Wu Qian – Jinhua Daily, translated by Jiao Tingting, edited by Kendra Fiddler)