November 18th, Institute of China Studies organized the field trip of the historic villages of Western Zhejiang. This activity was the extracurricular expansion part of the History of Chinese Thoughts course by Professor Lu Minzhen. During the field trip, the international students visited the characteristic Xinye historic village of Jiande and Zhuge Bagua village of Lanxi.
Xinye Village is located in Daciyan Town, Jiande City. It is a typical village with Huizhou architecture and well-preserved Ming and Qing houses. The ancestral hall culture inherited in the village serves as a living sample of the history of Chinese rural clan. Professor Lu hoped that the international students could understand the meaning of home through the field visit.
It was their first time to step into the Chinese traditional village. When the white wall and black tiles emerged among the mountains, the students were surprised at the beauty of the buildings.
Guided by Teacher Ye, a well-educated resident of the village, the students visited Tuanyun Pagoda, Wenchang Pavilion and West Mountains Ancestral Hall. Professor Lu illustrated the buildings from the perspective of the intelligence history and helped the students with further thinking.
Among the green bricks, gray tiles, horse-head walls, thick beams and small boudoirs echoed the languages of various countries
Zhuge Bagua Village
The Zhuge Bagua Village of Lanxi is the largest ever-found habitant of Zhuge Liang’s descendants, which is famous for the impressive architecture and the peculiar village layout. The well-preserved Ming and Qing houses are arranged according to the traditional image of Bagua.
The local guide introduced the historical changes and the cultural inheritance of the village which enlightened the students a lot. They visited the Prime Minister’s Temple, Dagong Hall, Tianyi Hall Garden and Traditional Chinese Medicine Hall.
The students were attracted not only by the refine buildings and sculptures, but also by the ancient wells and brick road. They inquired, took photos, explore the village in different groups so as to accomplish the investigation work assigned by Professor Lu.
On the top of Tianyi Hall, the highest position of the village, the students overlooked the whole village which appeared to be the scene in a Chinese ink painting. Here introduced the guide the ancestral hall culture and family motto of Zhuge Village. Professor Lu explained the ancient proverb “if you can’t be a good politician, you should be a good doctor” and the instructions in the book Jiezishu from which the student learned the power of family inheritance.
In Tianyi Hall, the student interacted with an old Chinese medicine doctor who showed the magical power of the traditional methods of diagnosis-- looking, listening, questioning and feeling the pulse.
After the field trip, each of them submitted investigation reports and share the experience with others on the class. Besides reading books, experiencing China in the daily life of Chinese city and village can also help international students to understand China generally and deeply. This is exactly the origin purpose of the second classroom of China Studies.