Erer Suansuan PROVIDED TO TEENS
You may be familiar with an essay called Peach Blossom Shangri-la from your Chinese textbook. But do you really understand the meaning between the lines?
When Erer Suansuan (not her real name), now a postgraduate student studying radio and broadcasting at Peking University, first read the essay in high school, she didn’t think too much about it. “At that time, I was so overwhelmed by academic pressure that I didn’t have too much time and interest in exploring more about the beauty of literature.”
However, she suddenly encountered it again one day in college. After furthering her studies, she realized that there is more than what she first saw in the 320-word text.
For example, Suansuan found that three key images stand out. One is the peach blossom Shangri-la, which not only appears in Tao Yuanming’s essay but also in many poems, paintings and plays. Second goes to the fisherman in the text who doesn’t have a name, as he is a symbol of a special group of people, the hermits. Suansuan also compares the “cave heaven” in Taoism with the “Allegory of the Cave” by ancient Greek philosopher Plato.
“People become mature when growing older, with their comprehension ability also improving,” Suansuan explained. She could now read the simple essay from a new prospective. It became much more fun and attractive to her. She now wants to share her thoughts on these essays in Chinese textbooks with more people – by making videos.
Before that, Suansuan would extensively read materials related to the essays. She also paints in her videos to make them easily understandable. For a 10-minute video, she may draw up to 80 drafts.
Starting in May 2019, she has made more than 50 videos. Seven are about the hidden stories behind texts in Chinese textbooks. The rest are about learning methods and other works of literature. These have earned her more than 1.5 million fans on Bilibili, many of whom are teenagers. They have left bullet comments and messages of thanks. They said she has made their school life more interesting.
Suansuan said the two things that bring her the most happiness are learning and creating. Making videos combines both. So she will keep going.