Chinese intangible culture wows foreign athletes in Chengdu

2023-07-31 Editor : Zhao Li ECNS App Download
Foreign athletes make the intangible cultural heritage of bamboo weaving in Chengdu Universiade Athletes' Village on July 30. (Photo: China News Service/ Shan Peng)

Foreign athletes make the intangible cultural heritage of bamboo weaving in Chengdu Universiade Athletes' Village on July 30. (Photo: China News Service/ Shan Peng)

(ECNS) -- Chinese intangible cultural heritage has been one of the most delightful surprises for both athletes and spectators at the 31st FISU Summer World University Games.

The athletes' village has served as a major cultural venue with many exciting events that showcase intangible cultural heritage and encourage exchange through art.

Sichuan embroidery, shadow puppetry, rope braiding, paper cutting, calligraphy, New Year paintings... These intangible cultural heritage experiences open a window for young people from all over the world to explore Chinese culture.

Some excitedly take photos while wearing hand-painted Sichuan Opera masks, while others dress in traditional Chinese Hanfu to imitate ancient Chinese people. There are also those who fly freshly-made kites.

Turkish track and field athlete Silan Ayyildiz experienced Chinese shadow puppetry on Sunday afternoon. "You will realize how difficult it is only after you start doing it yourself," she said.

With the help of the teacher, Ayyildiz successfully made a shadow puppet that could move flexibly. She mentioned that Turkey also has a form of shadow puppetry called "Karagöz," so experiencing Chinese shadow puppetry felt familiar to her.

After an afternoon of practice, Patrick, a medical staff member of the Slovak delegation, finally learned to use a calligraphy brush to write the Chinese characters "成都" (Chengdu) and his Chinese name.

"For me, the most challenging part of calligraphy is controlling the brush strokes," he said. In addition to Chinese calligraphy and traditional painting, he was also very interested in Chinese New Year paintings. "I had only seen them on TV before, never in real life. This time, not only can I feast my eyes on them, but I can even create one with my own hands."

"Many foreigners are familiar with Chinese paper-cutting, but they rarely hear about silhouette cutting," said Zhuang Congcan, a heritage inheritor with over 30 years of experience in silhouette cutting.

Making a silhouette involves quickly cutting out the side profile of a person using scissors. The difficulty lies in capturing the facial features of the subject in a short time and skillfully using the scissors. In the past two days, Zhuang has already created silhouettes for over a hundred delegation members, and his works have received considerable praise.

Due to the impressive Sichuan Opera face-changing performance during the opening ceremony, Argentine volleyball player Tobias Scarpa hand-painted an amusing Sichuan Opera face mask. Being a devoted fan of Boca Juniors, an Argentine football club, he specifically used large areas of yellow and blue colors on the mask. Tobias expressed that in China, he deeply felt the Chinese people's pride in their national culture.

After interacting with many Chinese people in Chengdu, Ayyildiz changed her impression of Chinese people. "I used to think that Chinese people were very serious, but after coming to China, I discovered that everyone here wears a smile and treats others kindly," she said.

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