A group of nine expats participated in the “Go Jiangsu” Social Media Trip for Foreigners in Nantong, which is known as the birthplace of the national industry in modern China, from Sept 13 to 14.
During their two-day trip, the group from countries of Italy, Japan, India, Iran, Pakistan and Mexico got to check out the traditional culture of Nantong in East China’s Jiangsu province, and learn about its modernization efforts.
Following their arrival in Qidong, a county-level city of Nantong, the foreigners were treated to local musical and tea art performances, experienced the local art technique of Qidong printmaking, and were presented with a blue calico scarf as a souvenir.
Qidong is hailed as “home of blue calico in China”. This technique has a history of more than 1,000 years.
Mukesh Mohanan, an Indian visual designer, said he was deeply impressed by the ancient art form and that he would adopt its designs into his graphic works.
On the first day of the trip, the foreigners also visited companies in the Nantong National High-tech Industrial Development Zone where they learned about the development of the advanced manufacturing industry in the city.
“I took a lot of photos, but I think the photos can’t describe the meaning of the culture of the city,” said Javanmardi Ehsan, an Iranian professor. “I think the city can be a symbol of culture of Jiangsu.”
On the second day, the expats visited Nantong Museum, the first public museum founded by Chinese people, and learned about the merits of its founder Zhang Jian, who was an industrial magnate and scholar in modern China.
The expats also dressed up in traditional Han costumes and tried their hands at making Nantong-style embroidery and playing the guqin, a seven-string traditional Chinese instrument.
“Go Jiangsu” is a brand event co-organized by Jiangsu province and China Daily with the aim of letting more expats experience the culture of the eastern Chinese province. Since 2018, more than 100 foreigners have participated in the activity.