By Hu Weiwei,Changzhou,China
Overseas Technical Trainee, 2012
Lived in Nagasaki August 2012 – March 2013
Hello, everyone! My name is Hu Weiwei, and I came to Nagasaki as an Overseas Technical Trainee in 2012. In March this year my traineeship ended and I am now living in the city of Changzhou, in China’s eastern Jiangsu Province.
While I was inJapan, I was often asked by Japanese people, “Where in China are you from?”. I would answer “Changzhou” but then continue “err… it’s near to Shanghai and Suzhou”. I found that most Japanese people had not heard the name “Changzhou” before, and it was hard for me to explain. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce to you all the city of Changzhou.
Changzhou is a very easy place to live, just like Nagasaki. It is the main station on the line between Shangahi and Nanjing, so one can travel to either of those cities within in an hour using the high-speed railway. As a model industrial city, manufacturing flourished here, and remarkable developments were achieved in textile spinning, machinery and manufacturing processes.
In the city we can find Tianning Temple, a Zen Buddhist temple which is over 1000 years old. The temple was built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and houses among other artifacts a golden statue of Buddha, inscribed metal panels and temple bells, and is praised for having China’s greatest Buddhist pagoda.
Dongpo Parkis a typical Jiangnan-style garden, created to commerotate the poet and statesman Su Dongpo, who visited Changzhou 11 times and also died here. In the park there is a monument inscribed with a poem by the Qianlong Emperor, who greatly admired Su Dongpo, as well as an exceptional collection of arbors, ponds, pavilions, artificial hills and abundant flowers and old trees.
Winter in Dongpo Park: a Snowy Scene
The Pagoda of Tianning by Night
Aside from the scenic and historic places, a new attraction is taking hold in the Jiangnan region: the “China Dinosaurs Park”, also known as the “Eastern Jurassic Park”, a large theme park stuffed with all kinds of dinosaurs, popular with both adults and children. I would like to take some time to describe this attraction to you.
Over 50 life-size models of dinosaurs are placed around the park, looking so lifelike as they wait, ready to pounce. The Dinosaur Fossil Museum exhibits over 100 fossils discovered during archeological excavations all around China, including the fossilized remains of three Sinosauropteryx, a dinosaur which lived during the Lower Jurassic period and which is said to be a key to the mystery of the evolution of dinosaurs and birds. These fossils are national treasures.
Add to that the theme-park rides such as the brontosaurus-themed rollercoaster, and the “Pterosaur Knight” ride, where you fly through the sky on the wings of a pterosaur, and you can fully enjoy your day experiencing the mystery of the Jurassic period in the setting of a modern theme-park.
China Dinosaurs Land（http://goo.gl/sxBo8）
The popular ride “Pterosaur Knights”（http://goo.gl/O0oPl）
Next I would like to talk about the art work of Changzhou.
Changzhou is known for its hand-painted combs, which have a history dating back around 1500 years. Made using natural wood, the combs are decorated using techniques such as carving, painting, etching and burning to make an attractive shape that has earned the combs worldwide renown.
Another traditional handicraft is a kind of needlework known as luanzhenxiu (free-stitch embroidery or ‘needle painting’). Combining Chinese-style painting and Western-style painting, using a needle in place of a brush, and threads in place of paints, the artist creates a new kind of embroidery that looks just like an oil painting. The work can even be said to look like a photograph, meaning that there is ‘order’ even within the ‘disorder’ implied by the word ‘luan’. This unusual form of needlework, with its rich colors, has become well-loved as a collectible item.
Changzhou combs Needle-painting
Lastly I would like to recommend to you some of the delicious foodstuffs of Changzhou.
These are rice cakes made from kneaded rice-flour dough, sprinkled with sesame seeds and baked in an oven. The cakes have a golden color and soft texture and the delicious aroma of the sesame seeds floats up from the thin and lightly crunchy skin.
Crab Xiaolongbao (steamed buns)：
The aroma of the crab is enticing and the soup inside the buns is very delicious!
Luobugan (pickled oriental radish): my favorite!!
Well, what do you think? I hope you will come to visit Changzhou soon! I’m waiting to show you around! ^^