Int'l students embrace Chinese culture in Suzhou
Updated: 2016-12-01

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Students from Shanghai Jiao Tong University take a cultural trip to Suzhou city in Jiangsu province from Nov 12 to 13 and pose for a group photo at Hujiu. [Photo provided to study-shanghai.org]

Some 70 oversees students from Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) set off on a cultural trip to Shanghai's neighbor city Suzhou in Jiangsu province from Nov 12 to 13.

The Humble Administrator's Garden, which has stood quietly in the old city for centuries, was the students' first stop.

A perfect embodiment of ancient Chinese landscape art, the garden's elegant pavilions, winding corridors, exquisite rockeries, small bridges and flowing streams provided the students with an ideal introduction to the traditional style of Jiangnan, the historic regions south of the Yangtze River Delta.

"It's just an oasis of serenity," one student marveled.

They also got an insight into China's religious history with a visit to the ancient Buddhist Hanshan Temple that afternoon. Walking down the temple's art gallery, the students admired masterpieces created by the celebrities down the centuries, while the melodious sound of the temple's bell rang through the air.

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Students enjoy free time at the cultural center of ancient Suzhou in Shantang Old Street. [Photo provided to study-shanghai.org]

With the sun setting beyond the horizon, the students enjoyed free time at Shantang Old Street, a microcosm of ancient Suzhou which used to be a bustling trade and culture center in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties.

In threes and fours, they sampled tasty local snacks, tried on silk scarves and qipao a traditional Chinese-style dress, and took cruises along the river while appreciating the tranquil night views.

They visited the Suzhou Museum the next day. Designed by the world-renowned architect Ieoh Ming Pei, the museum impressed the students with its diverse collection of ancient with modern artifacts, including religious statues, delicate ceramic pieces and art works from the Wu School of the Ming Dynasty.

A trip to Suzhou Embroidery Museum also gave the students an introduction to one of Suzhou’s most famous art forms, its ancient needle art.

Their trip came to an end at Huqiu, or Tiger Hill, where they appreciated the Yunyan Temple Pagoda, the Chinese version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which has been tilting slightly northwest since the 14th century.

"The famous Chinese poet Su Shi considered it a pity not visiting Huqiu, and now our trip can draw on a perfect and fruitful conclusion," said a student.
 

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