Quanzhou: Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting
Quanzhou, China blog
(Written by Mr. Penley) It was another great day in Quanzhou. Despite once again having periods of “liquid sunshine” (aka rain), we still made the best our time.
We started our morning with a lesson in Chinese calligraphy. Although it was a challenge, the students had fun trying to recreate the teacher’s beautiful characters.
Maddie and Livy tried their hand at writing China in Chinese (中國 － Zhongguo).
After calligraphy and exercising our minds, we switched over to some Chinese Kung Fu to exercise our bodies.
First we suited up in some snazzy gold uniforms.
And then did some warm ups.
Haglis practiced throwing sand in his opponents eyes, while Max jumped over the teacher’s leg sweep as the teacher showed the practical side of the form. Although she never was on stage, Ms. Wilkerson demonstrated the monkey position very nicely.
Sophie got into the yelling as she practiced her punches.
Students then got up on stage to lead the group through the form. Although it wasn’t always exactly pretty, everyone had a lot of fun.
After the formal part of the class, the teacher brought out some practice weapons that would be used for Kung Fu.
Wait…who gave Haglis a spear… and why is he coming after the photographer????
Of course, if you give boys halberds, you know what will come next…
We then had to take a group photo that our teacher had to pose for us. I think we look rather fierce, don’t you?
Note some of the details: Annie blocking Emily’s sword strike without looking, Livy sneaking up on Lily, Haglis looking peaceful…
After Kung Fu, we went out to the playground for some basketball. A possible Four Point first in China, our four man team of Haglis, Max, Eli and Eddie went undefeated winning three 4v4 games in a row.
We then left school for lunch and a rest. It is very nice to have a rest in the early afternoon each day… although I am not sure that class until 10pm is a worth while tradeoff.
In the afternoon, we hopped on our pink bus again… but there were a few familiar faces “on” the bus with us today…
last year’s Quanzhou group! (Or as the post called them: the Maritime Silk Road Overseas Study Group from American Gould Academy.)
We first headed to the Quanzhou Maritime Silk Road Museum and the Quanzhou Islamic History Museum. We learned more about the maritime history of Quanzhou and the importance of Quanzhou as a center of trade and cultural exchange. We also learned about the multiple religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Daoism, and Manichaeism, that coexisted in Medieval Quanzhou. The citizens of Quanzhou are rightly very proud of the multi-faith history and how well the various religious groups lived side by side.
You may be noticing a theme here… we take lots of group photos. Here we are at the Maritime Museum.
From the museums we headed to the South Shaolin Temple. The temple is still an active school and monastery. Although they generally practice in the morning, one of the teachers had some connections at the temple and a few of the students gave us a demonstration.
These two little guys were amazing. They were throwing punches and blocking kicks with practiced ease and great disciple. We were all very impressed.
Before we left the temple to head home for dinner and the night, we had… you guessed it… one last group photo!
Tomorrow we head to the beach and go climb a famous mountain. Should be a fun last day in Quanzhou!