Chinese septuagenarian inspires netizens after earning degrees in painting, calligraphy

(People's Daily Online) 15:27, July 13, 2021

"It is never too late to learn," said Xu Anling, a septuagenarian from Jinshan district, Shanghai, who received her second bachelor's degree in Chinese painting last month.

Photo shows Xu Anling standing beside her work. (Photo provided by the interviewee)

The inspirational granny received her first degree in calligraphy in 2019.

Xu said her keen interest in painting dates back to her childhood, but she was unable to pursue the hobby in her early years. After Xu retired and had no more pressure from work, she was finally able to throw herself into her artistic creations.

"When I picked up the brush again after all these years, I just felt that I had picked up my childhood dream," Xu recalled.

A group photo of Xu Anling with her teacher and classmates. (Photo provided by the interviewee)

At one point, when Xu realized that she needed to improve her professional skills rather than focus only on creativity, she decided to sign up for further studies at the China Academy of Art, one of the country's top professional art institutions, at the age of 58 in 2009.

Four years later, Xu was enrolled into the further education class for adults at the same university. However, obtaining her junior college diploma did not make Xu complacent. In order to be exposed to a more professional and systematic art learning experience, Xu decided to sit the national adult college entrance examination in 2017.

Xu Anling holds a certificate for "outstanding graduate". (Photo provided by the interviewee)

"I was thrilled when I received my university admission notice," Xu recalled, adding that during her time at university, she never felt ill at ease when surrounded by students in their twenties.

"Faculty members and fellow students all courteously called me Sister Xu," she revealed, calling her past 12 years of schooling the most precious time in her life.

Xu Anling draws a sketch. (Photo provided by the interviewee)

After stories about Xu earnestly pursuing further studies at such an advanced age were circulated online, many netizens were deeply struck by her passion and grit.

"I admire the old lady who believes in her own dream, does not set limits for herself, and always pursues what she is passionate about with hope in her heart," commented one netizen.

"I hope I can just be like Aunt Xu in the future. Live and learn!" another online user posted. 

Photo shows Xu Anling's paintings. (Photo provided by the interviewee)

Photo shows Xu Anling's paintings. (Photo provided by the interviewee)


(Web editor: Hongyu, Bianji)


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