Lao students experience kite culture
Lao and Chinese students studying at the Jiangsu College of Engineering and Technology pose for a group photo with their painted banyao whistling kites on May 3. [Photo/ec.js.edu.cn]
Lao and Chinese students studying at the Jiangsu College of Engineering and Technology in Nantong, Jiangsu province experienced the local banyao whistling kite culture on May 3.
The annual activity was organized by the school in order to promote the local intangible cultural heritage and introduce a variety of traditional kites to younger generations.
During the activity, Master Zhu Jun, an inheritor of banyao whistling kite construction who has been steeped in the ancient art for decades, explained its origin and development in detail to the students.
Banyao (板鹞), which in Chinese means board (ban) and snipe (yao), are large, flat, whistling kites with hexagonal frames adorned with exquisite decorations and vibrant colors.
Differing from other varieties of kites in China, such as hard-wing kites in the shapes of swallows and eagles and soft-wing kites in the shapes of butterflies, dragonflies and fish, banyao whistling kites are recognized as representative southern kites that can produce different sounds, playing melodically when dancing among the clouds.
The students were greatly interested in Zhu’s explanations. They were eager to paint the kites with bright colors, symbols of aspirations and expectations for a happy life, and enjoyed flying the kites high up to the heavens and basking in a relaxing environment of sunshine, fresh air and spring sky.
“It is very interesting and I have written some blessing words in Lao. I am quite excited to fly it with my Chinese friends,” said one Lao student.
The Jiangsu College of Engineering and Technology carries out various cultural activities to enrich the overseas students’ campus life, such as celebrating the traditional Water-Sprinkling Festival and organizing friendly football matches.