On June 16, a cultural event for international students, entitled "Discover the Tradition of the Dragon Boat Festival", was held at the hall of the School of International Culture, jointly organized by the Office of International Exchange & Cooperation and the School of International Culture.


The group photo of the directors and faculty.

The event provided a platform for international students to learn traditional Chinese culture and experience the traditional customs of the Dragon Boat Festival. It consisted of three sessions: talks, handcrafting, and sharing.

A warm-up dance performance opened this event to show the charm of Chinese culture. Several Chinese students from the School of International Culture, who dressed in green dresses, resembling the color of bamboo leaves, offered the audience a wonderful Chinese dance performance named "Gentle Breeze". It presented a beautiful scene of a refreshing breeze and blooming flowers, immersing everyone in a vibrant atmosphere.


The warm-up show features exquisite dresses and graceful dance motions.

After the warm-up show, the event transitioned to the first session, focusing on the Dragon Boat Festival. Tan Weihong, director of the Office of International Exchange & Cooperation, first cited a folk song, mentioning some of the traditional customs of the Dragon Boat Festival, such as dragon boat racing, hanging branches of moxa, eating zongzi and so on. Then, she talked about the origin of the festival, which is to commemorate Qu Yuan, a patriotic poet from the Warring States Period 2500 years ago. Quoting Qu Yuan's famous words "The way was long, and wrapped in gloom did seem, as I urged on to seek my vanished dream", she encouraged students to fear no difficulties and move forward bravely in their life journey.

Zuo Pengjun, dean of the School of International Culture, emphasized that such cultural activities had not been held for three years due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, he expressed great joy for this event and anticipated that more cultural activities would be held in the future. Additionally, he further explained the cultural background of the Dragon Boat Festival, following director Tan's introduction. He then extended his gratitude to the Office of International Cooperation and Exchange's great support for this event and his wishes for everyone's safe and auspicious Dragon Boat Festival.

Later, they both invited the faculty and students to taste zongzi and experience the profoundness of Chinese culture.

In the second session, two staff members from the Taoyuan canteen, one of the four canteens on the Shipai Campus, demonstrated how to make zongzi on site. Three international students and three Chinese students actively participated learning to make their zongzi by following the staff's instructions.


The canteen staff and students show their personally made zongzi.

One of the highlights of this session was the tasting of zongzi, which came in various flavors, including savoury salty duck eggs and pork zongzi, mung bean and pork zongzi, and sweet sago zongzi. Everyone selected and tasted zongzi, tasting the unique flavor of different kinds of zongzi.

In the sharing session, several participants shared their thoughts on this cultural event. Spanish student Ismael Cardeñosa Garcia, one of the international students who experienced making zongzi, said this event was great fun. He was quite interested in Chinese culture and pointed out that Chinese culture is distinct from Spanish culture, including festivals and food. However, he mentioned that the international publicity of Chinese culture on the internet is not enough, so he had no sense of these cultural activities before he came to China. Now, through studying at SCNU and taking part in cultural activities such as Tai Chi, paper cutting, and making Chinese knots, he has learned a lot about Chinese cultural knowledge and customs.

Bengali student Sang Tianle, who is in his senior year and about to graduate, said that it was the first time for him to join such an activity and try to make a zongzi, and he found it novel and interesting. He then added that he now has a deeper understanding of Chinese culture through this event. "During the Covid-19 pandemic, I took on-line classes at home for three years." Now that we can go back to traditional teaching, and get together on the campus, this event has left a deep impression on him, and he anticipates that more international students will participate in the next events.


Sang Tianle, a Bengali student, poses with zongzi.

Chen Zhuojing, a teacher from the School of International Culture, indicated that this event greatly moved the students. She said that the school has always been dedicated to organizing various cultural activities, such as the mooncake tasting activity during the Mid-Autumn Festival and the martial arts experience activity. "In the future, the school will keep on organizing similar cultural activities, allowing more international students to personally experience traditional Chinese culture and enhance friendship and cooperation between Chinese and international students." said Chen.

The success of this cultural event owed to the joint efforts of both Chinese and international students and helps greatly promote exchange and relationships between Chinese and foreign students.

More information about the zongzi-making session

Click the video to check the process of making zongzi on-site▲

Source: SCNU News Center, the School of International Culture

Written by Li Jun, Liang Dingyu, Zeng Wenting

Proofread by Edwin Baak

Edited by Wang Yingmin

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