Rich, vibrant culture in Pingyang county enthralls expats
China Daily

Pingyang county in Wenzhou city – located in East China's Zhejiang province – wowed five expats from the United States, Poland, Yemen and Bangladesh with its rich cultural resources.

The county treated the expats with a cultural tour on Sept 23-24, enabling them to get a full understanding and appreciation of Pingyang's handicrafts and other intangible cultural heritages.

With a recorded history stretching back more than 1,700 years, Pingyang is full of scenic spots and tourism activities. In recent years, the county has made every effort to promote the integrated development of its culture and tourism.

On Sept 23, the expats tried their hand at egg painting, a Wenzhou city-level intangible cultural heritage item, in Pingyang county's Mingshan village. The chicken and duck eggshells – which are fully sterilized – are painted with landscapes, flowers, birds and figures and are covered with a delicate glass frame.

With the help of Ye Lihui, an inheritor of the craft who is vice president of the Pingyang County Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection Association, Mohammed Fadhl Mohammed Al-Zouba from Yemen and Douglas Dueno from the US had a go.

Two expats have a go at egg painting under the watchful gaze of Ye. [Photo provided to]

"The culture in Pingyang is very rich and something that you can't experience from a textbook," Douglas said. "If you open a book and read it, you only understand the surface, but coming to Pingyang is like swimming in a pool and getting immersed in the culture. It opens up your eyes," he added.

On the same day, the expats were invited to watch a puppet show – a form of entertainment that can be traced back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279) and which was selected as a national intangible cultural heritage item in 2008 – and roundly applauded the performance. They couldn't help being curious and went on stage to learn how to do it.

The foreign visitors get an idea of puppetry from the performers. [Photo provided to]

"How amazing and precious the puppets are. Every single part of their fingers can move. It's really beautiful," said Paulina Farkowska from Poland.

"But when we tried, it was heavy going," she added. "It really surprised me that they were really heavy and you need to have a lot of strength to move the puppet and keep it steady at the same time. I think it needs a lot of skills to perform".

On Sept 24, the expats visited the Su Buqing Inspirational Education Center in Tengjiao town, where renowned academic and mathematician Su's lifelong contributions to fields are recorded. Born in a village in the town in 1902, Su, who died in 2003, was an academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the founder of the Chinese School of Differential Geometry.

The Mathematical Mystery Experience Hall in the town also provided the group with fascinating insight. There was a series of things to see – including 4D movies and VR experience halls that combined mathematical concepts, field applications and other mathematical elements with game experiences.

Huaixi town, a tourism and food town famous for its Cairina moschata – a local duck – delighted the group with its delicious duck dishes. In addition, the group also spent a great afternoon in Shuikou village in the town, which has a forest coverage rate of 93 percent and wonderful scenery.

Expats chill out at Shuikou village on Sept 24. [Photo provided to]