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外教文化活动之洋眼看常州:A Fun and Educational Trip by Nathan O. Taylor
发布日期:2015-05-19 浏览次数: 信息来源:外事办 作者:飞鸟 编辑 字号:[ ]


 I had a wonderful time visiting Changzhou this past weekend. I was lucky enough to be able to take my family with me during the cultural exchange programs and we all had a wonderful time.

  We are a busy family and don’t get to travel as much as we would like. When we do get a chance to go out, we want it to be somewhere the whole family can enjoy. Changzhou is the perfect city for us. It is near to Nanjing, quickly developing but not so large as to be difficult to navigate. It is also a prefect city for families. There is a lot to do and many of the attractions are geared towards families with children. Also, most of the hotels are very child friendly, having swimming pools and play areas for children.

  Of course the attractions are wondering in Changzhou. My son is three years old and loved visiting the dinosaur park. His still too young to ride many of the rides but he was fascinated by stories of dinosaurs and had lots of questions for us. We bought him some dinosaur toys and he has not let go of them since we came home. For my wife and I, it was nice to be able to take our son somewhere that is both fun and educational.

  Changzhou also has a rich local heritage that has helped shape the city and local culture. As a designer and artist I love taking part in cultural programs but especially visiting places where I can really enjoy local tradition. For me, local arts are the defining part of any cultural and are what make one place/people different from another. To be able to truly take part in and share culture with the local population is a special treat.

   That being said I was happy to see that the state of Victoria in Australia has also been building a cultural exchange with Changzhou. Far too often, local culture get looked over too quickly and people miss out on so much when that happens. It is wonderful to come to China and see the Great Wall but that does not really show you what the Chinese people are like. You need to go to smaller places (like Changzhou) and meet the local people, eat local food, listen to local music…this is what it is like to really share a culture. It is only through these more personal exchanges that we can really begin to understand a different culture.

  The shared art show of Mr. Zhou and Mr. Faulks was of particular interest to me. My background in art and design aside, I enjoy the social element of art exhibits. They bring people together by sharing a part of the artists personal culture and allow the viewer to experience these cultural elements together. Any discussion that arises after the viewing is bound to deal with how each person reacts differently to those cultural elements. In the case of Mr. Zhou and Mr. Faulks is was also interesting to see who the individuality of two artists could be expressed so differently when using the same medium.

  While my son may be too young to understand the finer details of cultural exchange or the artistic elements of paper cutting, I still feel it is important to let him loose in environments that are filled with art. It is an attempt at building up his creativity and letting him absorb new and different cultural elements. After seeing an exhibit on paper cutting, he has become aware of a new material and wants to cut paper at home as well. We have to be careful when giving him scissors but at the same time, he has made some very interesting paper cuts.


I hope that we have a chance to visit Changzhou and again. We had a wonderful time there and it would be a shame not to go back and visit once more.



Nathan O. Taylor

(and family)



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