Tibetan Art Centre visit: Students’ views
There were two main parts in this trip. In the first part, the staff in Jinze showed the students all around the Art Center, including visiting the Yue Qing Head-Decor Dragon, Sand Mandalas the drawing of Thangka etc.
Pina Jurisic said that they “learnt about the place that [they] were visiting and got to see some amazing art that is done by the students there.”
Natarsha Yan was quite interested in the Thangka painting and said, “They use sand to create delicate Buddhist works but throw the works into water right after they finish them; this shows that the process and the cooperation with each other is much more important. It also symbolizes the Buddhism theory that nothing can last forever so people should learn to cherish everything.”
These visits widened the students’ knowledge of the Chinese culture and the arts of Tibetan Buddhism.
Craft activities: students’ insights
The second part of the day was craft-making. The traditional crafts included print making, pitch pot, cloth sachet making, natural dye, Chinese archery, traditional dessert and pottery making. The students were impressed by the Chinese skills they learned.
Reina Ku was in the cloth sachet making group and said, “I chose the sachet making activity. The teachers taught us how to make the sachet step by step. When I was making the sachet, I was deeply moved and inspired by the Chinese traditional culture.”
Tom Hayes said that “We did natural dying and coil pottery, for the dying, we made designs on pieces of cloth and dipped them into blue colored dye. And for the coil pottery we cut pieces of clay and rolled it to make strings and made them into spirals that go upwards, to make Hingis like baskets or designs.”
Natarsha Yan said “After lunch, we went to make local desserts. The fruitful activities today were really enjoyable!”
Justin Graf joined in the group of archery and he regarded “the archery was very fun because it is a sport and the competition at the end was fun.”
Silje Studsgaard really liked the activities especially the pottery. “It was probably my favorite as we all did something different and it was just really fun.”
Students’ feelings about the whole trip
Our Year 9 students seemed to enjoy the trip very much.
Justin Graf said “The cultural Chinese trip to Jinze town was a very exciting and fun experience to give as a part of the Chinese lessons. This trip helped me understand the cultural history of China and the activities people used to do in their free time a long time ago.”
Nicolás De la Flor considered that the Chinese trip was “very cool” and “found the paintings interesting and learned more about Chinese culture.”
Silje Studsgaard really liked the activities and “how the groups were made”. Silje said that “we weren't just with our friends but we were with people that we don't talk a lot with which was really nice. I hope that we can go on a trip like that again once. ”
Eunseo Choi liked the lunch very much. “Lunch was really delicious and I enjoyed sewing to make herb bag. I would like to have this kind of trip and activities more.”
Nur Sophia Matthe really enjoyed this trip and she hoped to do it again so “she can experience more of the old Chinese culture and language.”
In this wonderful trip, students had the firsthand experience of making different types of Chinese traditional handicrafts, from which we were able to learn at first-hand about Chinese people’s living styles and traditional culture. It provided a great opportunity for students to understand and value these traditional arts and to learn how to develop some of the skills needed in these arts and handicrafts.
This was our second collaboration with the Jinze Art Center and we are grateful to the staff there for passing on their skills and for providing a delicious home-made lunch! It has enhanced our childrens’ understanding of Chinese cultures and provided them with unforgettable memories.