Children of Hangzhou: Connecting with China was created by Boston Children’s Museum and is part of the Freeman Foundation Asian Culture Exhibit Series, funded by The Freeman Foundation and administered by Association of Children’s Museums. The Museum recently launched the accompanying “The League of Extraordinary Bloggers” – A game for exploring Asian Cultures to complement five children’s museum traveling exhibits. The App can be downloaded at www.LXBGame.com
With breathtaking speed China has become a global power. Global transportation and telecommunications have facilitated the fast flow of goods, services and ideas around the world. But now we need to get behind the glare of the headlines. Children of Hangzhou is devoted to expanding knowledge, understanding and appreciation of contemporary China through life in Boston’s Sister City, Hangzhou. In distinctively Chinese settings, visitors will “meet” children with different interests and in different environments and learn what makes them tick. The exhibit will dispel stereotypes and demystify China.
“There is more travel, commerce, communication. Yet, news coverage of China does not reveal the inside lives of young people in China,” said Leslie Swartz, Senior VP Boston Children’s Museum. “We must give children and families opportunities to learn and appreciate other cultures. These are skills everyone needs for now and for life.”
Children of Hangzhou: Connecting with China presents four children from Hangzhou at home, at school, in the theater, and in the countryside. The Hangzhou young people will introduce themselves through media and the activities of their daily lives. Museum visitors will discover that Chinese life today mixes ancient traditions with modern lifestyles and that life in China is both similar to and different from life in North America. The young Chinese in the exhibit will be a bridge to learning about China and building cross-cultural understanding. The exhibit features original artwork created to present a unique Chinese aesthetic that delivers an immediate and unmistakable impression: You are in Hangzhou, China.
The exhibition is organized into several components, each with media diaries about the kids and about Hangzhou. Visitors will meet these kids in the exhibit:
Visit Weicheng’s apartment –
- Find out about the importance of family and help celebrate grandma’s birthday
- Discover the art of symbols in China
- Learn how to write good luck and long life in Chinese
- See how the Chinese prepare their favorite recipes
- Enjoy seeing all the yummy parts of a Chinese banquet
Visit Gangzheng’s middle school-
- Find out what his school day is like
- Join the class in studying Ancient Chinese history
- Learn about the amazing Great Wall, with original blocks for building it.
- See how the Chinese written language evolved over thousands of years.
Visit the Opera Theater where Qianyun is learning to perform traditional Chinese opera-
- Pluck the pipa (lute like instrument) and hear how it sounds
- Play the yangqin with tiny hammers – just like a dulcimer and hear how it sounds
- With great costumes, scripts to follow, and terrific music, it’s Showtime!
Go out to the countryside with Doudou –
- Discover life in the countryside while visiting grandparents
- Help them with rice planting and learn about rice cultivation
- Learn crafts from grandma.
- Find out about the importance of the ancestral village.
- Check out the friendly lifelike water buffalo!
The iconic centerpiece of the exhibit is a Pavilion in West Lake. See how Hangzhou is like “heaven on earth”. In the Pavilion, visitors can practice Tai Chi with a master and play traditional Chinese games
Boston Children’s Museum will host Chinese festival and events. For a complete calendar listing, please visit www.BostonChildrensMuseum.org
Children of Hangzhou: Connecting with China will be at Boston Children’s Museum through April 26, 2015 before embarking on a three-year, 8-city U.S and Canada tour.