In a bid to deepen international friendship city relationships with Rostov-on-Don and Nizhny Novgorod in Russia, and to showcase the charm of Jinan, the city organized the "Exploring Shandong – A Theme Event for Foreign Friends to Experience Traditional Culture and Rural Revitalization" on November 10th. The event aimed to provide an immersive experience of Jinan's unique regional culture. A group of 31 foreign friends from Shandong University of Transportation, including Nadezhda Nikolaeva, Daria Konovalova, Dmitry Slyusenko, Alexander Antonov, Nikita Novikov, Yekaterina Panfilova, Konstantin Shalykin, Yegor Davydov, Nikita Elistratov, and Artyom Fermanov, among others, were invited to visit Wufengshan Street in Changqing District of Jinan. There, they explored ancient scenic spots, delved into the wisdom of saints, experienced rural revitalization, and enjoyed the picturesque landscapes of Wufeng.
Amid the fragrance of ink and the atmosphere of prosperity, the journey began in Shibao Village. First, the foreign friends had a close encounter with the beauty of Chinese calligraphy. A calligraphy teacher explained the cultural connotations of calligraphy and the auspicious meaning of the character "福" (Fu, meaning "good fortune") in the context of traditional Chinese culture. With brush in hand, immersed in concentration and calmness, the character "福" vividly appeared on paper, capturing the fascination of the foreign friends who were eager to try their hand at it. With patient guidance from the calligraphy teacher, they started imitating the characters from the model, grasping the horizontal and vertical strokes, making Chinese characters a medium for them to gain a deeper understanding of traditional Chinese culture.
Next, the foreign friends experienced the traditional craft of hand weaving in Wufeng. A hand-weaving teacher demonstrated the process while explaining the techniques: "Pinch these two strands, overlap left and right, then thread them through like this..." The foreign friends were drawn into the intricate process and eagerly began practicing. This posed quite a challenge for them. Liu Ping explained, "Currently, hand weaving is a key industry development focus in our village. We continuously innovate products, create exquisite works, use e-commerce live streaming to expand marketing, promote products externally, and, relying on initiatives like Kang's Home Village construction, drive employment for people with disabilities and increase income for farmers, providing industrial support for rural revitalization." Through each woven piece, foreign friends witnessed the path to increased income and prosperity for the villagers.
In the culmination of their visit, our foreign guests, guided by an experienced tour leader, ventured to the Five Peaks Mountain Scenic Area. "Mountains need not be towering; they earn their renown through an ethereal presence. Five Peaks Mountain, named for its five gracefully positioned peaks emerging horizontally along the mountainside amidst the backdrop of lush greenery and white clouds, includes the peaks: Welcome Immortals Peak, Gaze at Immortals Peak, Meet Immortals Peak, Aspire Immortals Peak, and Gather Immortals Peak... As verified by experts, the ancient ginkgo tree before us is of a rare dual gender, an extraordinary specimen that has thrived for over 2600 years..." Beneath the ancient ginkgo tree, our foreign friends attentively absorbed the guide's explanations, gaining an in-depth understanding of the historical evolution of the Five Peaks Mountain. Excitedly, one of our foreign visitors exclaimed, "Five Peaks Mountain is truly a beautiful place. Here, I've witnessed stunning mountains, clear springs, and this enormous ginkgo tree. I love Five Peaks Mountain and Chinese culture."
Through this immersive experience, our foreign guests delved into the rich historical and cultural tapestry of the Five Peaks Mountain, bearing witness to the rejuvenation of the rural landscape. This endeavor plays a vital role in deepening the construction of international friendly cities, showcasing the profound humanistic heritage of Changqing, and ensuring that more international friends come to understand and appreciate Jinan.
（Li Xiaotong; Hua Shan; Yuan Yuhua; Hou Yawen; Liu Xiaohan; Lou Xinyu; Liang Ruixin)