Hangzhou’s Chun’an and Jiande saw a group of internationalsvisiting from village to village from April 9 through10.
The tour, co-organized by Hangzhou Foreign Affairs Office, Hangzhou MunicipalPeople's Association forFriendship, and Secretariat ofthe Belt and Road Local Committee(BRLC), was said fruitful by foreign experts, executives, entrepreneurs, and international students in Hangzhou from 17 countries.
Although based in Hangzhou, many foreigners haven't had manychancesto visit and know Hangzhou villages, acknowledged by internationals.
Uniqueness, authenticity, and good preservation were the words they brought up the most along the trip. “The scenes you will only get to see in movies show up to you here in Qinchuan Village,”exclaimed Odaifrom Jordan.
With wallswashed in snowy white and roofsbeing obsidian, Qinchuan is one of the few villages well-preserved in Hui-style architecture, owing to the enormous local efforts made by the local government and people.
“At the same time you can find significant achievement in construction, where roads are leading right to the villages with good transportation access,”said Kaskeleviciute Ieva from the Republic of Lithuaniaas exploring in Xiajiang Village, a modern village blighted by severe poverty 20 years ago.
Du Shigen, Deputy Director of Hangzhou Foreign Affairs Officepointed out that hands-on experience is what really attracts the internationals and what they can introduce Hangzhou villages to the world.
“It’s good to see the ecological balance here, between promoting village tourism and preserving not only the history and culture but the local environment,”commented Pavlos Savvidis, associate professor from the Westlake University.
Both being educators, Pavlos Savvidis and Robert Giles Mullins, Executive Principal of Hangzhou Wahaha International School agreed that breaking the walls down from classic instruction of culture and getting the students out of the city is important. “Our international students lack experience knowing the history and culture of China,”said Robert.
The two-day tour, including the visit to villages, local museums, and Xin'anjiang Dam, also received many likes and comments on the internationals' social media. "Being a city ambassador spontaneously like me and many others, we are posting authentic content about Hangzhou and people are naturally engaging with it,"said Odai. "We are curious and want to know more."