Cross-cultural symphony at a German school in northeast China

(Xinhua) 10:32, February 06, 2024

This file photo taken in November 2023 shows a student holding a paper-cutting work at HuZ School in Tiexi District of Shenyang City, northeast China's Liaoning Province. (HuZ School/Handout via Xinhua)

SHENYANG, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- During an art class at HuZ School in Tiexi District, located in northeast China's Shenyang City, the eighth graders were busy crafting a giant 3D decorative painting depicting the Year of the Dragon, guided by their art teacher Yang Huanhuan.

"As the Lunar New Year of the Dragon is approaching, it is both an interesting and meaningful endeavor to work with the students to create a decorative painting. This would provide students with a deeper understanding of traditional Chinese culture and immerse them in the festive atmosphere of the Chinese Spring Festival," Yang said.

HuZ School is a German overseas institution authorized by the German ministry of education and research, serving as a consistent K-12 international school. It offers students multidisciplinary and comprehensive classroom learning experiences. At present, more than 200 students from Germany, France, China and other countries are studying and living here.

"'Encounter' of different cultures and courses is the educational philosophy of our school, which allows students from different countries to switch to any department they want to study under certain learning conditions," said Li Yuehan, a teacher at HuZ School. "German students are not limited to studying in the German department but can also choose to study in the international department."

"The school currently has German, international and French departments. Junior high school students can decide which department to study in and where to take the college entrance examination," Li added.

Hans Friedrich Lausmann, an eleventh grader from Germany's Brandenburg, moved to Shenyang two years ago as his parents were working in China.

Speaking about his experience, the student said, "There are only 200 people living in my hometown, but Shenyang has millions of people, what struck me most is the city is so bustling and lively and the people are particularly warm and friendly here."

The student believes that studying in Shenyang is not much different from studying in Germany. The distinction lies in the opportunity to delve deeper into Chinese customs and regional culture, he noted, adding that after completing high school, he plans to take the German college entrance examination directly and then return to Germany for his university studies.

According to German teacher Stefan Sander who teaches chemistry and mathematics at the school, many German employees who have worked in Shenyang for a year or two can now confidently bring their children here for education.

"The opening of HuZ School has not only addressed the concerns of foreign employees regarding their children's education but has also attracted more foreign teachers and students to come to Shenyang," Stefan Sander said.

With German companies such as BMW and ZF Friedrichshafen AG accelerating their investment layout in Shenyang in recent years, an increasing number of foreigners have come here. The city has also constructed a number of supporting facilities, including educational and medical facilities.

"We hope to strengthen relations between Germany and China through the curriculum design and regular cultural activities held at the school," said Lawrence Hbschmann, the CEO of HuZ Group.

Liu Xixi, a Chinese fourth grader who has lived in Shenyang since childhood, said that she has made many foreign friends at the school and learned a lot about German culture. "We often have classmates from different countries studying together in our classes. I like to team up with German kids. Sometimes, I also teach them Chinese."

The similar climate and dietary preferences have allowed Germans who come to Shenyang to quickly integrate into the local lifestyle. "Pickled Chinese cabbages and sausages in northeast China are quite similar to sauerkraut and German sausages. But my favorite is still Chinese beef noodles," said Hans Friedrich Lausmann.

Last year, he spent his first Chinese New Year in China and he was deeply impressed by the strong traditional festive atmosphere. "I saw dazzling fireworks during last year's Spring Festival and even went skiing with friends," Lausmann said, adding that he is eagerly looking forward to this year's festival.

"In a few days, the 3D decorative paintings made by the students will be put on display in the school building, allowing everyone to feel the festive fervor of the Year of the Dragon," said Yang Huanhuan.

This file photo taken in October 2023 shows a student presenting an artefact at HuZ School in Tiexi District of Shenyang City, northeast China's Liaoning Province. (HuZ School/Handout via Xinhua)

This file photo taken in October 2023 shows students having an art class at HuZ School in Tiexi District of Shenyang City, northeast China's Liaoning Province. (HuZ School/Handout via Xinhua)

Students pose for photos with a decorative painting in celebration of the Year of the Dragon at HuZ School in Tiexi District of Shenyang City, northeast China's Liaoning Province, in February 2024. (HuZ School/Handout via Xinhua)

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


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