Translator: Aneka Rebecca Rajbhandari
Editor: Zhang Mingyu
On December 21st, Prof. Jiang Xiaoli, Deputy Dean of Silk Road School led a team to Zhenze Town, thebeautiful shore of Taihu Lake and the hometown of silk quilts, to visit Taihu Snow Sericulture Culture Park, and to learn about silkworms. Learning about silk production included knowledge of breeding and silk weaving technology, understand the origin of silk culture and development of the "Silk Road". Silk Road School international students from Bangladesh, Russia and other countries participated in this educational trip.
Walking into the gate of Taihu Snow Sericulture Culture Park, what you see is a bird's-eye view of Zhenze Wetland Park. Zhenze Wetland Park is China’s first sericulture themed park andTaihu Snow Sericulture Culture Park is located at the entrance of Zhenze Wetland Park. It is also the first developed and most mature area of the wetland, consisting of 4,000 square meters of cultural exhibition hall and about 2,000 mu of high-quality mulberry garden.
As early as the Neolithic Age, primitive hand-weaving labor related to silk appeared in the Taihu Lake Basin. Zhenze is also one of the five major sericulture centers in Jiangnan. "Sangzhe contains smoke and leans on silkworm foil everywhere"which contributes as an important factors for Silkworm culture which has been continuing on the shore of Taihu Lake for thousands of years.
To build a dream of silk is Hu Yufang, chairman of the Taihu Snow, who insists on the promotion of silk culture.In 2002, Hu Yufang founded Taihu Snow. With the mission of inheriting and reviving the Suzhou silk industry, he actively implemented the concept of "prospering agriculture and enriching the people". Through the construction of farming, mechanization, and technological bases, the operation model of "company + base + farmers" , opened a new era of sericulture industry. This has enriched the people by industry, benefited the people by culture, and benefited the people by ecology, and realized the road of transformation of traditional industries with the integration of the tertiary industries.Listening to the establishment and development of the Taihu Snow brand, students received a deeper understanding of the huge impact of mulberry sericulture on the economic and cultural development of Zhenze Town, the patriotic dedication shown by Chinese entrepreneurs and the entrepreneurial spirit of hard work and innovation.
In the special IP of the Cultural Park: "Silkworm Breeding Class", the international students interact with the "baby silkworm" in a close distance, and explore the cultural symbols behind the silkworm. Later, with the staff's careful explanation, the students visited and learned about the silk weaving process.The machines and weaving models on display vividly restore the process of hand-weaving silk in ancient times. The students also experienced the manufacturing techniques of silk drawing and cotton stripping, and felt the silk quilt made of 20,000 cocoons. The smooth and skin-friendly texture impressed the students with the traditional Chinese weaving skills and the wisdom of the ancient labors.
Finally, the staffs led the students to the Taihu Snow Cultural Innovation Hall. Handmade cocoon flowers, masks, silk scarves, hair bands, hand-embroidered fans and other cultural and creative products made from silkworm cocoonslooked dazzling and exquisite. The students finished the visit in appreciation of cultural products and by tasting mulberry leaf tea.
The story of Chinese sericulture, originated in ancient myths, lies on mulberry fields and silkworm foils, resides in the imagination and wisdom of working people, and flows in the blood of Chinese civilization.Through this visit, the students not only felt the charm of sericulture culture and silk weaving skills, but also had a deeper understanding of the outstanding Chinese entrepreneurial spirit and the great influence of silk on China's economic development and cultural transmission.The Silk Road School students under the Belt and Road Initiative, just like silk on the shore of Taihu Lake, will promote the exchanges between Eastern and Western civilizations and build a bridge of youth to eliminate prejudice and promote communication in the world.