New Zealand gets new taste of Chinese culture with tai chi, more

Editor:Sharon Lee
Updated:2017-04-05 15:09:41

New Zealand gets new taste of Chinese culture with tai chi, more

  Beijing schoolchildren rehearse for their performance in Wellington to celebrate the "sister-city"status of Beijing and Wellington. CFP

  WELLINGTON - Han Xuanting spins in a skirt typical of the style of China's Uygur ethnic group, with a dozen New Zealand girls in school dresses imitating her steps around her.

  The midday dance class is given in Samuel Marsden Collegiate School on the outskirts of Wellington, capital of New Zealand.

  For Han, a Chinese dance teacher, this has been her routine.

  "Children learn very quickly, and they can easily master the skill of moving their necks while dancing," says Han, referring to a key feature of the Uygur dance from western China's Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

  For Zhang Jianyong, it is busy time every Wednesday evening.

  As a tai chi teacher in Wellington, Zhang teaches his students the moves of this traditional Chinese exercise once a week.

  "Many Kiwis chose to take tai chi as their daily sport after learning that it benefits their health," Zhang says, adding that this exercise has become a good way of spreading Chinese culture.

  Both Han's and Zhang's classes are part of the programs run by the New Zealand Chinese Cultural Center, which has been working to introduce Chinese cultural elements to the local public.

  Recently, the center signed a memorandum with Wellington's Whitireia New Zealand to open an optional course of Chinese dance in the government-funded tertiary institute of technology.

  The college is also Han's alma mater, where she once performed a traditional Chinese dance for teachers and students before her graduation.