Culture soaring high


人物 来源:21世纪学生英文报·高一

Yang Hongwei wants to spread Weifang kite-making around the world. Provided TO TEENS / XINHUA

中文 英文 双语

After a long, cold and dry winter, life and color are starting to return. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing and people are flying kites.

Known as the birthplace of kites, Weifang in Shandong province has a long history of making kites.

According to local artisans, Weifang kite-making can be traced back to 2,000 years ago. At first, they were often used by the military for measuring distance and communication purposes. During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), kites started to be popular among ordinary people as entertainment.

Made from bamboo and featuring traditional Chinese paintings, Weifang kite-making was included in the national-level intangible cultural heritage lists in 2006. Initiated in 1984, the International Kite Festival has been held in Weifang every year.

Yang Hongwei, 56, is an inheritor of the Weifang kite-making technique. Born into a kite-making family, Yang often saw kites with bright colors and different shapes in her grandfather’s workshop.

“Every time I see these beautiful kites, my boredom and negative feelings go away,” said Yang.

Having a special connection with kites, Yang learned the technique from her grandfather at the age of 16. After practicing the technique for 10 years, she started her own shop in 1992.

“Many places around the world have a tradition of flying kites,” Yang said. “But I think the cultural context behind our kites is unique.”

On Yang’s kites, people can see not only common patterns like butterflies and swallows, but also some prints telling Chinese myths, legends and history. For example, she once made a kite showing a phoenix head lined with portraits of 50 famous women in Chinese history on each side.

Though the idea was cool, the process was not easy.

Yang said that each woman has different characteristics in look, attire and makeup style. To create their portraits, she spent much effort and time checking historical records or discussing the details with professionals.

“It’s time-consuming,” Yang added, “but when I explain the stories on the kites to foreign customers, I feel a sense of great achievement.”

In her spare time, she also travels to different countries including Germany, Australia, the US and New Zealand to tell people about Chinese stories seen on kites and the traditional ways of making kites.

“I’m an inheritor of the culture. It is also an important job of mine to spread the heritage around the world and onto the next generation,” she said.

(Translator & Editor: Li Xinzhu AND Luo Sitian)


联系我们  |  诚聘英才  |  演讲比赛  |  关于我们
© i21st.cn   京ICP备13028878号-12