Ni Hao and Welcome to China! Learn about the rich cultural life of China in a fun-filled week of meeting the local people, tasting the local cuisine, learning about Chinese customs and exploring. Visit the Confucius Temple in Fengyan, make dumplings, practise calligraphy, taste oil tea, learn some rituals, visit village family homes … and learn to understand the Chinese customs and beliefs.
Discover the rich and dynamic culture of China in a week of integrated learning and discovery with our English speaking Chinese co-ordinators. This programme takes you beyond politics, away from the big cities, normal tourist attractions. It takes you into the traditional lives of the rural communities, understanding their culture and everyday activities. You’ll see beyond hearing about ‘face’ and ‘guanxi’ into a real understanding of what they mean.
You’ll go to the Confucius temple, not just to look, but to understand what it meant, how it felt, to be the No 1 scholar in the Emperor’s examinations and the route through the temple that only you could travel. Of course you will learn about how to make dumplings, taste oil tea, and learn the rudiments of the language, practice calligraphy, learn some of the rituals. But the focus is on developing a deep understanding of everyday China and its cultural roots.
It is the ideal start point for anyone visiting China. Many of our volunteers choose to do this Culture Week before starting on one of our other Voluntary programmes. Your schedule will alter depending on weather and time of year which would relate directly to the local event and festivities happening at the time of your programme. However, you are also able to focus your program during this week, depending on your interests and further volunteering programs you might be following onto.
A typical week in the Cultural Immersion Programme is:
Start your day with a typical Chinese breakfast, followed by Chinese language lessons and a tour of Fengyan village, which will include the Old house. After lunch you will learn about Chinese philosophy and what is found Taboo. In the evening you will have the opportunity to visit a local family for a welcome party and learn how to make oil tea.
Your second Chinese lesson will follow breakfast and then you will visit Lianhua town where you will register and you can do some shopping. After lunch you will have a culture session about Chinese festivals which will lead onto a late afternoon visit Hongyan village and a climb up one of the mountains and finishing the day with Bamboo rafting.
Your morning will be spent studying and participating in Chinese language lessons, Calligraphy and painting, followed by a Chinese culture session focused on the History of China. In the Afternoon you will visit the Confucius and Guangong temples and walk along the Cha river. You won’t just look at the Confucius temple, you’ll understand what it felt like to be the number one scholar in the Imperial city, to pass the Emperor’s examinations and the path through the temple that only you were allowed to walk. In the evening if you would like, you can join the Gongcheng BBQ.
Today you are going to learn how to buy and bargain in Chinese, and then visit the Market of Lianhua to buy some food and practice what you have learned. The afternoon will be filled with further culture lesson and an introduction into Chinese cooking, where you will learn how to make Dumplings amoung other things.
This morning not only will you further improve on your Chinese but also learn different Chinese songs. Your final lesson for the day will be the art of paper cutting, which is strong in Chinese culture as paper was originally invented in the Eastern Han Dynasty in the 2nd Century AD. Free time will be given in the afternoon for preparation for your weekend.
Saturday and Sunday:
You are able to travel freely today and visit Yangshuo and Gongcheng, explore the culture with your newly acquired knowledge in culture and language, or alternatively you can stay at the centre and rest before your next adventure.