It’s near the mid-summer and more sunshine can be felt day by day. In the afternoon of June 2nd, altogether 22 international students from 9 countries in International College walked into the Cultural and Physical Education Center in Dapeng Township, Tongshan District, and joined the local residents to celebrate the peaceful and harmonious Dragon Boat Festival.
There the students were welcomed with the Festival Kit, including the reed leaves, sticky rice, sweet dates, perfumed sachets and colorful ribbons prepared by the local residents. First, Ms. Chen Xue, the Chinese language teacher with International College of CUMT, introduced the origin and customs of the Dragon Boat Festival. Then, with the instruction of the professional teachers, the international students held the reed leaves and tried to learn the wrapping of the Zongzi. Though the “products” are various in shape, the emotion expressed is the same. In another corner of the room, a group of students sat around a table and learned to make perfumed sachets with another teacher. Pulling thread, filling in wormwood and sewing, everyone enjoyed the whole process.
After a short while, the boiled Zongzi were ready to be served with much steam. All the students were so excited to see their own “products”. With the proposal of the teachers, the students presented the Zongzi to the Street-cleaners Station of Dapeng Township, showing gratitude to those who work hard for the cleanness and tidiness of the city.
Both Zongzi and perfumed sachet are the window for the students from different countries to gain more insight into China. The international student MUHAMMAD RIYAN RUSNADI from Indonesia says, “the Dragon Boat Festival is one of the four greatest traditional festivals in China. It’s so amazing to learn wrapping Zongzi, making perfumed sachet and painting the fan today. I feel very excited to learn the Chinese culture and experience the Chinese customs here in Xuzhou.” Another international student ANDREI PARKHOMENKO from Russia says, “China has a long history of culture. I’m so happy to be here studying in CUMT, and I think I’m in a totally new China which is more open, tolerant and civilized. I love China!” Ms. Du Hongying, the director of the Cultural and Physical Education Center in Dapeng Township, Tongshan District, comments, “I think it very meaningful to observe the Dragon Boat Festival in this way. We need to do our best to play our role in spreading Chinese voice, telling Chinese stories and promoting traditional culture.”
The cultural activities have been held in recent years by International College for the international students to improve the education and cultivation, creating a platform for them to communicate with Chinese culture and helping them know China better.