All around the world people are staying in, practicing social distancing to fight against Covid-19. But there is still a way to explore China’s history and culture from the comfort of one’s home: The Confucius Institute Online is offering a number of free online classes that take users on a virtual tour to Shandong province, the birthplace of Confucius.
These courses are narrated by “Little Qilin,” a mythical creature signifying good luck that was supposedly present at the sage’s birth. One course, “Qufu” explores Confucius’s home city. Users learn about the life of the legendary philosopher and are taken on a tour of three UNESCO sites: the Temple and Cemetery of Confucius, and the Kong Family Mansion. Users also virtually experience the “Kong Family Feast,” an ancient banquet.
In another course, learners can explore the seaside city of Qingdao, China’s beer capital. A joint project by the Shandong Culture and Tourism Department and the Confucius Institute, these courses aims to share with Chinese-learners the rich history and culture of the province.
(The Confucius Institute Online)
These lessons also prelude the Shandong Culture and Tourism Department’s upcoming recruitment of 20,000 international “Confucius Tourism Envoys,” who will be tasked with sharing and promoting the wonders of the cradle of Confucius and Shandong’s unique cultural heritage. As a result of the coronavirus outbreak, the recruitment process has been postponed to later this year.
In the meantime, you can visit the Confucius Institute Online for a wide selection of online classes, or download Chinese Bridge, the official app for the Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition, to learn more about Chinese language and Shandong’s history and culture.
During this difficult time, with many cooped up indoors, we hope this virtual tour of historic Shandong offers a healthy dose of escapism for our readers!
Check out Rivers Deep, Mountain High, TWOC’s guide to Shandong. Find it in our online store, or get a free copy on WeChat!