|A scene from the TV program, Joyful Trips for Children, features three of five children plowing a field in Tianshuijing Village, Gansu Province. [For China Daily]|
In less than half a day, Dai Qi'er, an 11-year-old girl from Southwest China's Sichuan Province, made a "journey through time". Alongside four young friends, she trekked from a Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC) "royal palace" to the bustling streets of the iconic scrollwork Along the River During Qingming Festival by Song Dynasty (960-1279) painter Zhang Zeduan.
As one of the five lucky children selected from numerous primary school students across the country, Dai was filming Joyful Trips for Children, a 10-episode television program, which is produced by the sports and youth program center of China Media Group, the country's largest broadcaster.
Currently running on CCTV-14 and two of CMG's streaming platforms, the show, the final episode of which will be broadcast on Saturday, has attracted a large audience of children and young teenagers, according to the producers.
Dai says she has been a die-hard fan of the program for years. "I was extremely excited to hear that I was chosen to join the five-member team. It is like a dream that has finally come true," she recalls.
Even though it is the first time Dai has left home to travel with "strangers" — the other four children aged from 8 to 11, all led by the show's presenter Huang Weishe felt happy expanding her horizons and increasing her geography and history knowledge.
During the 40-day shoot, they traveled nearly 5,000 kilometers to over 10 cities across several provinces, including Zhejiang, Guizhou and Gansu. Dai says the most impressive moment was in Zhejiang's Hengdian World Studios, the country's largest base for shooting movies and TV dramas.
In the replica of a Qin Dynasty royal palace, where more than 3,000 films and TV dramas have been shot — including Zhang Yimou's Oscar-nominated Hero — Dai and her companions donned ancient costumes, learned the Qin-style "fist and palm salute" and other kinds of Chinese etiquette to experience the lifestyle of people who lived 2,000 years ago.
|A scene from the TV program, Joyful Trips for Children, features an area where the Miao people live in Guizhou Province. [For China Daily]|
Many joyful experiences are etched in the children's memories, such as taking a train ride through forests to a mountainous village, and learning to make silver jewelry with a veteran craftsman at the country's largest settlement for the Miao ethnic group.
Aside from these eye-opening adventures, the children-most of whom have grown up in big cities such as Beijing and Tianjin-also enjoyed new, if somewhat exhausting, experiences like plowing fields with local farmers in Tianshuijing, a village in Gansu.
Si Xiaofeng, the chief director, says the program has set a goal to help children to better perceive the world through travel, with each episode intentionally interweaving a lot of knowledge, varying from history to physics and chemistry.
"All the content is designed from the perspective of children. We want the young audience to also get a picture of the societal change and progress through the interesting trips taken by the protagonists and the stories of locals they meet," adds Si.
Also in line with China's "double reduction" policy, the country's latest effort to reduce students' burden, Si says the program aims to highlight the significance of a healthy childhood, exploring the proper role that parents should play in family education.
"Make the children happy and they will learn more effectively throughout their lives," the director says.
(Source: China Daily)
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