Art brings us closer, no matter where we come from, and who we are. Even at this modern era of the 21st century, it is surprising to find a very deep interest and connection of Chinese people with their ancient culture, traditions, and a set of old norms and values. Paper cutting is one of the contemporary Chinese traditions which Chinese people embrace during various auspicious occasions; one of them is during the ‘Spring Festival’.
It might sound unbelievable, but the matter of fact is that out of 43 students who took part in paper cutting session belonging to 10 different nationalities, it was their first-hand experience of such activity. There is no doubt to say that it’s one of the major milestones of Chinese language class, which not only teaches you a new language, it also embraces your knowledge about arts, culture, history, and civilization of a nation.
A Kenyan international student from Kenya said, “what I ended up with, is nothing close to the instructions, but I just loved it!”.
Paper cutting is a typical and unique art in China, which is widely used in traditional Chinese Spring Festival and traditional Chinese wedding for decoration purposes. The Chinese people express their wish of luckiness, benediction, and expectation through the little piece of red paper. Through simple but flexible operation with the scissors, various images in the shape of animals or plants appear like a magic performance.
The instructor of the course Mrs. Wang taught the international students how to cut the shape of a “double xi” and the “window flower” out of the piece of a red paper. The “double xi” represents the good things which come in pairs”, she said. She also mentioned that in other words, it could be understood as the ‘double blessing for the marriage’. According to Mrs. Wang, it requires a very good designing skill, a tremendous amount of creativity, patience, and understanding of the minute details of the handicraft if you want to cut out a window flower from the paper.
Some glimpses of international students cherishing paper cutting during the Chinese language class.
As a Chinese proverb goes "Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it”, it means that Chinese arts and culture are the reflections of Chinese society. And, as an international student in China, it is always worthier to know, understand, and enchant them. Practicing by your own hands has a lot for you if you desire to learn exciting facts about China.
Written by: Wang Lei
Editor: Pralhad Gupta
Photo : Wang Lei