“Happy New Year”in USA: Chinese culture warms Muscatine

Muscatine has deep ties to China, a city that has attracted the attention of both sides because of its indissoluble bond to comrade Xi Jinping.Comrade Xi Jinping visited the city twice in 1985 and 2012 and was warmly received by the local people. The city also has deep ties to Yiwu, which officially became a "friendly city" with Muscatine in 2017.With the establishment of friendly relations between the two cities, folk cultural exchanges and economic and trade cooperation between China and the United States have become more and more frequent.

With the deepening of the brand activity of "Happy New Year", the value concept of Chinese Spring Festival culture has been combined with the concept that the world can accept and understand. The charm of the Spring Festival culture is gradually becoming more and more prominent. During the Spring Festival of 2018, the Chinese New Year in Muscatine, a city on the Mississippi River in the United States, began to get stronger with the arrival of the Yiwu intangible cultural heritage delegation and the Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra. Yiwu paper cutting, Donghe meat pie, farmers' paintings, Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra performance of Chinese and foreign famous music…Various forms and colorful activities have enabled local people to fully experience the joy of auspicious Chinese New Year, appreciate the extensive and profound Chinese culture, and activities have revealed the fruitful results of cultural exchanges between China and the US, effectively promotedfriendly exchanges and cooperation between Yiwu and Muscatine.This Spring Festival, Chinese culture has warmed the city of Muscatine.

On the morning of February 20, the paper cutting of the intangible cultural heritage project bearing the New Year blessings of Yiwu people made a stage pose at Muscatine central high school. The representative inheritor of intangible cultural heritage from Yiwu, Lou Xiaoqing, taught a special lesson to Muscatine's children. Lou Xiao Qing explained the origin of paper-cut, its form of expression, especially in the Chinese traditional year, and made the children have a preliminary understanding of Chinese paper-cut art through the work display and experience. When the fingers were flipping for a while, a beautiful butterfly raised its wings to fly , and the children were amazed at the teacher ' s wonderful skills. In the paper-cutting experience, Lou Xiaoqing taught step by step, and the children listened attentively and carefully completed their first work. At the end of a class, children were marveling at the magic of Chinese paper-cut with their own finished paper-cut works. Through the appreciation and experience of paper-cut art, it has opened up the children's desire to explore Chinese culture and they have been full of curiosity to China. Many children said they wanted to know more about China in the future.

Donghe meat pie is the traditional food of Yiwu, delicious, aromatic, oily but not greasy and lustrous. It was originated in the Qing Dynasty Jiaqing years to this day. On the evening of February 20, Zhang Aizhen, an inheritor of Yiwu intangible cultural heritage, publicly showcased the Donghe meat pie making skills in a Chinese restaurant on the Mississippi River. As her hands spanned and pulled, a pancake as thin as rice paper was made. With the sizzling sound of oil frying, an aromatic and amber-colored meat pie was presented. Residents rushed to taste the Donghe meat pie and praised the delicious food from Yiwu.

On the evening of February 21, the Zhejiang Symphony Orchestra performed in the auditorium of Muscatine central high school. The audience was packed, with almost half of the Chinese and foreign audience, and the atmosphere of the orchestra's performance was very warm. The addition of the famous American song Moon River has aroused a strong resonance. Traditional elements intersected with popular fashion and Chinese folk music and western music overlapped. The concert not only brought a strong Chinese New Year flavor to American audiences, but also demonstrated the profound and charming Chinese traditional culture and music.

The event also brought more than 30 farmers' paintings with Yiwu characteristics and more than 100 paper-cut works, which were exhibited in the exhibition hall of Muscatine central high school. More than 1000 local officials, residents and neighboring Chinese stopped to visit and thumbed up and praised traditional Chinese culture. These works of Yiwu intangible cultural heritage were all left there as a witness of the cultural exchanges between China and the United States.

The display of traditional skills with a long history, wonderful symphonic performance, delicious local specialties and colorful exhibition activities…This Spring Festival, it is believed that many Muscatine citizens have become fans of the Chinese culture.

Data provided by the Department of Culture of Zhejiang Province, Foreign Affairs Office Final review: Gao Chaoyun Copyright: Culture Information Center of Zhejiang Design and Fabrication: Hangzhou Chudu Information Technology Co.,Ltd.