Foreigners experience river lamp making in Tai'an
During the Hungry Ghost Festival, international students experience folk cultural activities in Daiyue district, Tai'an city, Shandong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
A dozen international students from the School of International Education of Shandong First Medical University (Shandong Academy of Medical Sciences) visited Dawenkou town in Tai'an city of Shandong province to learn about traditional Chinese culture on Aug 30.
The making of river lantern in Dawenkou town has a long tradition, and it was listed as an intangible cultural heritage item on July 15, 2016. Then the customs related to river lamp has become important folk festival activities in the local area.
Wang Yanhua, an inheritor of the Dawenkou pottery-making technique, said, "The process of making river lanterns is not difficult. Watermelon rind was used as the base, cotton as the core, and vegetable oil will also be used."
Tang Binjie, a fourth-generation inheritor of Dawenkou lace technology, said that the production of river lamps gradually became more exquisite, and the variety of patterns became much more complex during the later period. "Combining with local characteristics, we also added lace techniques to the making of river lamps", she said.
Students learn to make river lamps in Daiyue district, Tai'an city, Shandong province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Under the guidance of a teacher, students have successfully completed the making of watermelon lamps painted with good wishes.
Nilam Didar from Pakistan said, "Today, I watched the process of making the river lamp. It was very interesting."
"Today, through this activity, I know that making river lanterns is a folk tradition and intangible cultural heritage program," said Ith from Bangladesh.
Ali, a student from Sierra Leone, said, "I put a river lamp on the Akashi Bridge and made a wish for a better life."