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Chinese folk arts bloom overseas

(People's Daily Online)

08:27, September 17, 2012

In recent years, traditional Chinese folk arts, such as kites, paper cutting, shadow play and dragon and lion dance, have become very popular overseas. Overseas Chinese are of great help in cultural heritage and promotion.

The 34th Sydney Kite Festival presented the unique charm of Chinese kites to more than 50,000 local residents and tourists. The family kite-making activities in Singapore not only promoted Chinese folk culture but also demonstrated the cohesion of Chinese family.

In addition to kites, the paper cutting art is also popular abroad. Last month, Liu Chunfei living in Japan opened a three-day paper cutting classroom in Aichi, cutting papers on the scene. Liu said that the passion of Japanese housewives encouraged her and she hoped to continue to spread the traditional folk art in Japan.

The paper cutting had helped Liu spent the lonely time when she first arrived in Japan, but the exquisite Suzhou embroidery not only marveled the world but also brought economic gains for Canadian immigrant Zhang Qing.

As more and more Chinese people went to foreign countries and settled there, many traditional Chinese folk arts were also spread all over the world and some folk activities even became the regular cultural activity in local places. The most typical one is the dragon and lion dance every Spring Festival, followed by the annual Dragon Boat Festival in California, attracting a large number of local people and having wide-ranging popularity.

In 2010, the New Zealand Post Office issued animal stamps celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year of Tiger. Designers combined the paper-cutting tiger with the figure of silver fern and the Government Building, showing a unique feature.

After decades and even centuries of development and evolution overseas, some folk arts were added with the local elements. The shadow play that originated from China was introduced to Thailand and formed Thailand-style shadow play there. In addition to the inherent characters including males, females and clowns, three "puppet gods" were added to Thailand shadow play, which is considered as localization of the Chinese folk art.

The Chinese folk arts rooted in the state and blossom overseas. As new ideas and inspirations spurt, Chinese folk arts are injected with new life during the process of diffusion and now it has been recognized in many areas. Chinese folk arts keep developing home and broad, but the inherent soul is an eternity.

Source:People's Daily Overseas Edition , author: Nie Chuanqing and Li Pengxiang

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