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Sydney school girls enjoy Chinese kite-making
   2016-10-20 09:13:22    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Guan Chao

Students make kites at a school in Sydney, on October 19, 2016. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com]

An exhibition of Chinese intangible cultural heritage items, Wang Xing Ji fan art and Huzhou kite making technique, is currently being held in Sydney, Australia, showcasing techniques that developed thousands of years ago.

To bring the Chinese art to more locals, especially youth, three folk artists from Zhejiang province have held workshops on fan and kite making in Sydney schools for the first time, bringing joy to many young Australians.

CRI's Qi Zhi has taken part in one of the workshops and now explains what the students have learned.


It was an ordinary school day at the Loreto girls' school in Kirribilli, North Sydney, but for about 30 Grade 6 students, it turned out to be a quite exciting day to experience Chinese kite making for the very first time.

"So today what we're going to do is to paste the drawing onto the frameˇ­ (The first step of making a kite is) to tie up the frame and the second step is to paint the drawing."

The instructor, kite master Jin Yueqiang from Huzhou in Zhejiang, had tied up 26 kite frames and painted an equal number of cover drawings featuring colorful and vivid characters such as dragonflies and eagles before coming to the schools.

In Chinese kite making, the painting not only showcases Chinese characters but is a major manifestation of the artist's conceptions, ideals and auspiciousness.

Through an interpreter, the students learned every detail to paste the drawings onto the frame to finish their first kite. For many 6th graders, this is no easy job.

"It was really fun but difficult because you have to be careful, like cut it very nice. The gluing -- you have to make sure there's enough glue but not too muchˇ­ It's really fun but stressful, but mostly fun. Because I got the thing wrong and then I got it right and I was happy. And I don't know how to fly a kite but I'm gonna learn."

Instructor Jin is full of praise for the girls' hard work.

"There were some difficulties but I think most of them did well. We have a total of 26 kites today and over half of them are done really well."

At Loreto school, Chinese is the only foreign language taught among junior students. But for most of the girls attending the kite making session including 11-year-old Grace Bolton, it is their first time to get a glimpse of Chinese art.

"We do like Chinese lessons when we learn how to say stuff but we haven't done (things) like art, like what they do and how they use kites. It's really cool because here you just buy them and we don't really make them in Australia. It helps me understand that they like to do stuff themselves and they like to show how Chinese people used to make kites."

Kite Master Jin Yueqiang believes bringing kite making to school is much better than holding an exhibition for the young students to experience the Chinese art.

"I've only brought one of the three key steps in making a kite to the school which is pasting and the students already felt it's not that easy, not to mention the other steps. To experience the technique first hand gives them an idea about how complicated the traditional Chinese craftsmanship can be."

When the kites are finished, it's time to take them to the sky. The school playground is instantly turned into a party full of excitement and joy.

"It's really cool, amazing. It's really high."

For CRI, this is Qi Zhi reporting from Sydney, Australia.

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