We arrived at the Beijing Chinese Language and Cultural College at about 1pm. We had our cultural classes after our delicious lunch buffet. Here students learned how to paint mask and to do Chinese calligraphy.
Today, we started the day with our final tour to the The Summer Palace which was first established in 1750 as a luxurious royal garden for royal families to rest and entertain. It later became the main residence of royal members in the end of the Qing Dynasty. Being the largest and most well-preserved royal park in China, the Summer Palace greatly influences Chinese horticulture and landscape with its famous natural views and cultural interests, which also has long been recognised as ‘The Museum of Royal Gardens’. The area covers a larger part, and opens up the vista of Kunming Lake, as well as the sights around Back Lake (Houxi River).
Acrobatics Show has a history of more than 2000 years. During the Tang Dynasty, Chinese acrobatics developed much as European acrobatics had during the Middle Ages. Acrobatics continues to be an important part of modern Chinese variety art. At about 12.30pm, we had the opportunity to watch one of this remarkable show at Beijing. The performers amazed us with near perfection stunts and choreography.
Then, we continue our tour to the Temple of Heaven Park which is located in the Chongwen District, Beijing. Originally, this was the place where emperors of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) and Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911) held the Heaven Worship Ceremony. It is the largest and most representative existing masterpiece among China’s ancient sacrificial buildings. Here, we explore places like Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests, Echo Wall, Imperial Vault of Heaven, Three Echo Stones and Circular Mound Altar. Furthermore, the students were required to complete their Mathematics assessment based on the shapes and structures of this extraordinary ancient architectures.
Located at the centre of Beijing City and the midpoint of Chang’an Avenue is the remarkable Tiananmen Square. The Square was the front door of the Forbidden City. Here, our FIS students had an opportunity to visit the Tiananmen Tower, Monument to the People’s Heroes, Great Hall of the People, Chairman Mao Zedong Memorial Hall.
After about an hour visit to the Tiananmen Square, we left to have the most famous Beijing roasted duck for lunch at Yajiang Restaurant. The restaurant has sleek decor, and upon arrival we were seated at private room. Generally the students enjoyed the variety of the menu as it allowed them to try multiple dishes, including the roasted duck showcasing the local cuisine.
798 Art Zone is named after the 798 factory that was built in 1950s. Historically, it featured simple design and varied composition, follows the Bauhaus way and gradually many art organisations and artists came to rent the vacant plants and transformed them. As of today, more than 400 cultural organisations coming from various countries and regions have settled down in the zone. Here, FIS students had the opportunity to observe and appreciate various international modern arts.
The Great Wall of China is the world’s longest wall with the total official length of 21,196.18 km. The Great Wall was first completed in the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC), and was last rebuilt as a defense in the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) and it is now more than 2300 years old.
Our FIS students had the opportunity to visit this biggest ancient architecture today to further explore the structure and to experience the breathtaking sceneries. After about an hour drive, we arrived at one of the most popular sections of the Great Wall called Juyongguan (refer to the image above). This section is notable as one of the most well-preserved and moderate crowded areas of The Great Wall. Overall, we walked approximately 1.5 km out and back, but it was scorching and tiring. However, it was one of the greatest experience we had during our expedition.
Like ravioli, dumplings are famous traditional northern Chinese stuffed pasta.Dumplings are made using various fillings and cooking methods symbolising different cultural meanings. The half-moon-shaped dumplings are very much look like the currency used in old times, the “ingots” hence eating dumpling is believed to bring good fortune. In this expedition, our students had the opportunity to be part in the making of dumplings at Beijing Chinese Language and Cultural College and to explore the meaning and the importance of dumpling making. In the end, we get to eat our own dumplings!
Students in two groups attended two different cultural classes, Wushu and Chinese paper cutting after dinner at 6.30pm. Wushu is an effort developed by the government to standardise the Chinese traditional martial arts. Students learned some patterns and movements of this martial arts.
Since the invention of paper in China, paper-cutting became one of the most important types of Chinese folk art. Because the cut-outs are often used to decorate doors and windows, they are sometimes referred to as chuāng huā, window flowers. Students had the opportunity to explore this art and showed their extraordinary talent in paper cutting activity.