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28/02/2013

Suzhou Embroidery Keeps Ancient Needle Art Alive

When you have China travelin Suzhou, you should buy Suzhou Embroider as souvernir.

During the Spring and Autumn Period some 2,500 years ago, people from Wu State applied embroidery to clothes, and thus began the origin of Suzhou-style embroidery. Suzhou embroidery is world renowned for its exquisite, elegant, clear and beautiful artistic style.

The Suzhou Embroidery Museum was established in 1986 and was originally in the Fishing Master’s Garden. In 1988, the museum was moved to Wang Ao’s Ancestral Temple at No.262, Jingde Road.

Emperor Qianlong’s imperial robe is one of the most precious items at the museum, boasting 42 dragon stripes, all embroidered with gold threads. The dragon stripes are intermingled with colorful cloud patterns, all in perfect harmony.

A buff thin silk cotton-padded gown and a bed quilt are probably the most historical exhibits. Embroidered with dragons, phoenixes, and flowers, the patterns are typical imperial symbols of the culture of Chu State of the Warring States Period some 2000 years ago. Both of them were unearthed from the No.1 Chu Tomb in Mashan, Jingzhou City of Hubei Province in 1982.

Most of the masterpieces are currently collected and exhibited by the Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute, which is located next to the museum. To keep the ancient needle art alive, research institutes and mills have been built since the 1950s in Suzhou, Nantong, Changzhou and Wuxi all of which are included in popular China tour package. The Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute, or SERI, has done an excellent job of studying, recording and promoting the traditional technique.

SERI embroiderers have expanded their unparalleled skills to explore new artistic directions, creating works that transcend conventional perceptions of embroidery to reveal a dynamic, exquisite art form. Some of the resulting embroideries incorporate as many as 40 different types of stitches and 300 hues of silk threads.

Here in the workshop we also discover an almost faded silk-weaving technique, Kesi. Master Zhong is busy on her age-old machine for a six-screen silk painting "Peony".

As a style of Chinese silk tapestry, Kesi is admired for its lightness and clarity of pattern. Kesi means "cut silk", a name that comes from the appearance of cut threads by the use of color in the pictorial designs typical of the style. Unlike continuous weft brocade, in Kesi each color area is woven from a separate bobbin, making the style both technically demanding and time-consuming.

No one can tell exactly how many embroidery mills are actively located in and around Suzhou. The art continues, and the embroiderers are creating new miracles. They stitch their talent, ingenuity, and constancy into history. But for tourists who are interested in the art of Suzhou embroidery, you should consider to buy one and don't make your China vacation deals in Suzhou a pity.

27/02/2013

Ancient relics found at Taklamakan Desert

Chinese archaeologists are now carrying excavations in the Taklamakan Desert in northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region which is part of Silk Road travel. The desert is the world’s second largest shifting sand desert, covering an area of about 330,000 square kilometres. Archaeologists have recently found a large number of ancient buildings and Buddhist relics in the Damagou area of the desert. Let’s take a closer look at what has been found over several decades.

A dry, frozen world where life is far and few between. Despite seeming empty to the naked eye, the area houses vast ancient treasures beneath its sand. It was here 117 years ago, that Sweden explorer Sven Anders Hedin found Buddhist relics in the area.

Zhang Yuzhong, Fmr Deputy Director of Xinjiang Archaeology Institute, said, "Prior to his trip, we all believe that there was no human activity in this desert. Hedin stayed here for 2 weeks. He discovered and marked 18 signs of ancient houses here. He also found some books from the Tang Dynasty."

Four years later, he returned to the desert to search for more treasures. During this trip, he discovered the ancient city of Loulan.

Zhang Yuzhong said, "The ancient city of Loulan was the capital of Loulan country (now included in China vacation deals) in the Han Dynasty. It was built earlier than Dandanulik. We believe that the two discoveries mark a milestone in the archaeological history of Xinjiang."

In 1910, Xiaohe or the little river Tomb complex was discovered 175 kilometres away from the ancient city of Loulan.

In 1979, a 4000-year-old female corpse and the Ancient Tomb Valley of Kongque River was discovered at the ancient city of Loulan.

In 1995, Shu Tapestry, the best Chinese silk from Sichuan was discovered in the Ancient City of Niya in the desert. It was marked as one of the ten most important discoveries in China that year.

And the work hasn’t stopped. Archaeologists are now scouring the desert again to unearth the country’s ancient past.

If you want to know more info about Taklamakan Desert, you can contact with China tour operator.

10:43 Publié dans Voyage | Lien permanent | Commentaires (0)

26/02/2013

Learn Chinese Dining Etiquette

If you plan to have popular China tours which include the local family visit, you should learn the dining etiquette in China.

Chinese dining etiquette has developed for a long history. According to the records, dining etiquette has formed a well-established system during the Zhou Dynasty, and then it becomes the important aspect of showing Chinese culture, civilization and tradition. In this article, the writer will introduce some of the etiquette to you and help you blend in China more quickly.

◆Dining Etiquette

The biggest difference between China and western countries is westerners like to eat the food in front of them, on the contrary, Chinese people like to put all the dishes in the center of the table, and eat them together. The food you have picked up by the chopsticks should be put in your bowl before eating them, otherwise it is regarded impolite.

◆A Chinese Dinner

Cold dishes are firstly served to stimulate the appetite, and next dish is the hot soup, it will help you increase your body temperature, after all these are finished, the main dishes start. The finale food is dessert like red bean paste and sesame paste. There are also other types, such as pudding, pancakes, ice cream, they are equally tasty.

◆Way to Eat

Wait until the soup is either too hot or too cold, sip the soup with a spoon. As for dinner, you should raise your bowl to your lip, push the rice into your mouth with the chopsticks. That is one of the easiest way to eat, and also a sign to show that you like the meal.

◆Banquet

Few Chinese people drink wine when having meals, however, it plays an important role in the party or banquet. At beginning of the banquet the host should propose a toast first, it is of decency to make the guests drunk. If you cannot or don’t want to drink, you should demonstrate at first so that the embarrassing scenes can be avoided.

Chinese Table Manners

1. Your invitation should be noticed in advance, it is not proper to invite your guests to the dinner at 5:45p.m if the dinner begins at 6:00p.m.

2. The hosts cannot be late for the dinner, however, if you are the guest it is appreciated to be late for 5-10min.

3. As a guest you shall not order the dishes unless the host asks you to do so.

4. If there is a pair of chopsticks or a spoon in the dish when it is served, use this to pick up the food, do not stir the food by your own chopsticks.

5. Do not talk while there is still some food in your mouth.

The above-mentioned dining knowledge is very useful and help you have an easy China travel.