Are you a handicraft enthusiast? On October 17, 2020, the University Town Community Government organized a Chinese Knot cultural event for students and faculty in the Home for International Friends on the PKU Shenzhen campus. Each participant was allowed to challenge themselves in creating their Chinese knot!
A group of 30 students and teachers from PKU Shenzhen and the other universities of University Town gathered together to experience making this traditional Chinese craft. We were lucky enough to have the senior teacher Liao Caijun, who has rich experience in this field gently leading participants through the process step by step.
Have you ever noticed red Chinese knots hanging on a wall?
Many people are familiar with this craft, but few fully understand it. Therefore, Ms. Liao started the event with the introduction of the long history and profound cultural connotation of the Chinese knot. It represents luck and blessing.
The knot we made was a typical and relatively easy kind. It requires not only patience but also some basic tools to make the knot successfully. You must have scissors, paperboard, and strings.
A multitude of other materials can also be used, such as silk, copper coin, or some small ceramics. Different types of Chinese knots may use various kinds and amounts of materials.
The main steps include weaving, pulling and trimming. Trimming is the last step of making, but it could be the best way to test the techniques and patience of the maker. The specific steps of making a Chinese knot are complicated; try checking out videos on Tik Tok if you are interested.
The enthusiasm was high. Students gathered around the teacher and discussed with each other about the techniques of tying and the details of each step.
By the end of the event, everyone had their creation to take home as a souvenir.
Chinwe Alli: “It was an amazing event and I enjoyed every bit of it. Tying a knot was quite difficult at first but eventually, I was able to tie one from scratch to finish! I heard that in China, these knots are considered to bring luck; I hope it brings me luck also!”
Jiang Rongke: “It was my first time to make a Chinese knot. This program really helped me learn some Chinese traditions that I did not pay attention to before, it was also well organized and we had a lot of fun.”
Jiang Shengze: “What a wonderful day! It was my first time to be a volunteer since I have been here, but what I experienced was beyond my expectation. I not only learned how to make Chinese knots but also made friends with two foreign students, one of whom was also a fan of Real Madrid!”
Juandi Sanchez Fernandez: “What a fantastic way of immersing oneself in Chinese culture! No need for ice-breaking games this time. Those who got the trick immediately helped others make their knots. An activity that seemed to be individual ended up being a team working one that put us, Chinese and international students, all together.”
The event was part of the 2020 Taoyuan Sub-District Min Sheng Wei Shi Shi Project and Nanshan District New Era Cultural Practice Series.
Written by Wang Haozhe