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The Chinese Cultural Salon "Descendants of the Lantern" Held

Last updated :2017-04-24

Source: School of Foreign Languages
Written by: School of Foreign Languages
Translated by: Evelyn Zhang
Proofread by: Liang Jianxin
Edited by: Wang Dongmei

On April 7, 2017, a Chinese cultural salon called “Descendants of the Lantern”, was held on Guangzhou South Campus of Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU). The activity was organized by students from the Master of Teaching Chinese to Speaker of Other Languages Program with the aim to show the Chinese lantern culture via Chinese calligraphy and painting. It attracted 20 international students from 15 countries including Russia, Indonesia, South Korea, Greece, Thailand, and Belgium.

At the beginning, the host introduced the historical origin and symbolic meaning of the Chinese lantern. The lantern has always been the symbol of happiness for Chinese people and an indispensable element in Chinese festivals since ancient times. The art of Chinese painting and calligraphy is well combined in lantern making. After learning about the meanings of various lantern patterns such as figure, landscape, flowers and birds, dragon and phoenix, insects and fish, the participants were eager to make their own lanterns.

A Belgian student painting the koi

Setting up lantern frames 

The international students made their own lantern patterns with imagination, showing their painting skills. Some even had their names written in Chinese calligraphy on the lanterns. A Greek student who could not even imagine himself painting with the writing brush before, managed to paint a cute panda with the help of the Chinese students, getting the thumbs up from other participants.  

The Chinese students helped international students make the lanterns from setting up the frames and facsimileing the patterns to fixing the candles and fastening the strings. Participants not only helped each other but also competed against each other on painting the koi. The brightly lit and colorful lanterns fascinated all international students present.

Group photo

In the end, the international students and the organizers took a group photo with the lanterns they made. The salon finally wrapped up in laughter. It enabled international students to learn about not only the Chinese lantern culture but also the charm of Chinese painting and Chinese calligraphy. One girl from Thailand said, "The Chinese lantern is just as beautiful as the Thai lantern that my mom taught me to make when I was young. I am going to send these pictures to my mom. She must be very happy seeing my Chinese name on the lantern".