Women learn Chinese painting at the part-time school. [China Women's News]
"When I am making soap, I'm cozy, patient and meticulous, and feel like my taste and lifestyle has been improved," a member of the Huiyuan, a craft workshop launched for women in Dandong City, northeast China's Liaoning Province, wrote after a DIY group activity.
Mu Yan, founder of the workshop, said the original intention of opening the workshop was to embrace life passionately, and it was beyond her expectation that the simple idea would turn into a career of inheriting intangible cultural heritage.
In addition to providing training courses and craft making, the workshop has also invited a group of inheritors of intangible cultural heritage to give lectures to its members.
The lectures include craft-making skills and the historical background of the crafts, which enable the women to explore the charm of traditional Chinese culture.
The Women's Federation of Dandong City named the workshop Women's School on March 8, 2019. It became a base of improving women's cultural competence and promoting intangible culture in the city.
"The deliberately designed courses and fair prices are the top reasons for its high reputation among local women. More and more women are falling in love with craft making, which brings them joy and changes in temperament," says Mu.
A member said every time they gathered to make paper-cutting, tie-dyeing or handmade bags, they felt a sense of tranquility, and the crafts also gave them a sense of achievement.
Children from the city's Zhenxing District celebrated this year's International Children's Day in the workshop, trying their hands at the intangible cultural heritage of dough modeling under the instruction of Liu Yunchi, an inheritor of dough modeling.
Liu is one of the lecturers of the workshop and has been invited to speak at schools, kindergartens, enterprises and public service organizations.
The workshop has recently been named an education base for traditional Chinese culture by Eastern Liaoning University. Students from the university, including overseas students from Republic of Korea, attend its courses on intangible heritage culture.
Mu plans to recruit more lecturers, offer customized courses, and expand the workshop to benefit more women and children in urban and rural areas in Dandong in the future.
(Source: China Women's News/Translated and edited by Women of China)
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