Across China: Young People in Hainan Passionate About Traditional Chinese Culture

 March 14, 2023
Across China: Young People in Hainan Passionate About Traditional Chinese Culture
A stall owner introduces products to tourists at an ancient-style market during the Dongpo cultural singing competition in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province, on Feb. 19, 2023. [Xinhua/Zhou Huimin]


HAIKOU, March 11 (Xinhua) — As night falls, a festival featuring Dongpo food culture welcomes an influx of residents and tourists, including many young people to enjoy the feast of food and culture at a commercial street in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province.

Dongpo pork, Dongpo fish, and other delicacies related to Su Dongpo, a famous litterateur of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127), are mouthwatering, and the poetry recitation of Su's masterpieces is fantastic.

At a food stall hung with Su's poems about food, Xu Yue, a senior student at Qiongtai Normal University, enjoyed Dongpo food and the famous works of Dongpo.

"What I see in these poems is not only the food but also Su's open-mindedness and heroic attitude towards life in the face of difficulties and adversity," she said.

Xu said Su's poems and his spirit, as the precious heritage of China's traditional culture, have had a profound influence on later literati and following generations. "I believe Su's spirit will be better spread in the future, and Chinese culture will pass on more power to us in a new form," she said.

"I've felt a strong cultural atmosphere in this festival," said Wang Wenxi, a sophomore at Hainan Normal University, donning a traditional Chinese costume.

"There are many people around me who like Dongpo culture and traditional Chinese culture. We would organize activities during festivals to promote traditional Chinese culture," she said.

As a Chinese cultural icon, Su Dongpo not only had remarkable achievements in poetry, painting, and calligraphy but was also famed as a gourmet and expert in water conservancy.

Since ancient times, Su's influence is extensive and far-reaching. In 2000, Le Monde, a French newspaper, named the world's 12 heroes who lived around the year 1000, and Su Dongpo was the only Chinese among them.

Su has a deep bond with Hainan. In his later years, Su was relegated and exiled to Hainan for three years. Su became an important initiator of Hainan's culture and was deeply loved and remembered by people here.

The first Hainan Dongpo Cultural Tourism Festival, which was celebrated on February 18, still continues in Hainan, promoting Dongpo culture through various activities, including performances of Dongpo culture, Dongpo food culture festival, and Dongpo cultural singing competition.

During the Dongpo cultural singing competition, Liu Tairan, 27, won the best original award by composing and singing two poems by Su Dongpo. As a director and music producer, Liu said he was Su's big fan and was very happy to have the opportunity to perform his song for more people.

He said Su lived 1,000 years ago, but he is not far away from modern life as he has the temperament needed in this era. "The Dongpo culture and excellent traditional culture give me cultural confidence, and also provide inspiration and materials for my creation," he said.

Peng Tong, deputy secretary-general of Hainan Su's Research Association, gave a lecture on Dongpo culture at Hainan Normal University last month. Peng said the college students were absorbed in the lecture and were passionate about Su Dongpo, while welcoming Dongpo culture to enter the campus.

As a researcher of Dongpo culture, Peng said he is very pleased to see young people love Dongpo culture and traditional Chinese culture.

"Young generation needs to gain strength and nourishment from traditional Chinese culture," he said, adding that the excellent traditional Chinese culture represented by Dongpo culture has appealed to more and more young people, and will have a profound influence on the young generation.


(Source: Xinhua)


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