CLAREMONT is a long way from China, but that did not faze performers from the city of Yangzhou as they treated students and staff at Methodist Ladies’ College to a cultural performance recently.
Hailing from the Shizoun province, the bright and cheery delegates visited MLC on their tour to perform traditional opera, puppetry and music dating back thousands of years to the intrigued crowd.
They were dressed in traditional red and colour flower-print Chinese dresses, known as the cheongsam, which is another custom with a long history.
The puppetry was a favourite among the junior school students, as was the performance on the guzheng, a 21-string Chinese sting instrument with a sound similar to a guitar.
The high-pitched Chinese opera, however, proved to be too much for some junior school students.
As part of the curriculum, all junior school students study Mandarin and Chinese culture.
The students’ aural skills were put to the test as the performers thanked the crowd in Mandarin and then in English.
“Hopefully, you now have the incentive to work hard and go to China,” performer Wenpei Xu said.
Returning the favour, a group of students exhibited their Mandarin skills, thanking the group for their performance.
“Thank you for coming to our school,” one student said in Mandarin.
“We really enjoyed the performance,” another said.
As a gift to MLC, the group presented a specially engraved guzheng.