Review for 2018: From China to Greece
The year 2018 became one of the most important turning points in my life, as in the year 2011 I started to study Chinese traditional culture after moving back from Denmark to China, and as in the year of 2016 I resigned from the shipping company and started my own company devoted to the culture exchange between Greece and China.
The year 2018 became one of the most important turning points in my life, as in the year 2011 I started to study Chinese traditional culture after moving back from Denmark to China, and as in the year of 2016 I resigned from the shipping company and started my own company Meet Culture devoted to the culture exchange between Greece and China.
In 2018, I decided to start a new chapter of my life.
January~April, Chengdu, Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Suining, Nantong
We started this year with the sharing events of our new book.
Eley and I spent more than one year to have written the book “Adventure with Greek Gods”, after many articles and blogs for the social medias and OTAs in China. The sharing events were organized in the well-known bookstores in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing and Chengdu, supported by the publishing house, Greek Embassy in Beijing, Greek Consulate in Shanghai, Greek National Tourism Organization and many of our friends.
I was invited by the teachers of Chengdu Paotongshu Primary School, to give a class to the students of Grade Three about Ancient Greek Mythology, and also played a song dated back to Byzantine period with ancient Greek lyre for the students.
In the first bookshop of Chinese Cultural Theme in Chengdu, I had a lecture title “Entering Chinese Traditional Culture with Xiao the Chinese Flute”, in which I shared my experience and ideas on studying Chinese traditional culture. After the lecture, I collaborated with the bookshop to give weekly classes of Xiao to the public.
In the beginning of the year, the most exciting event was the concert in Chengdu which I organized for my flute master Zhang Di. It had been rarely to see a concert dedicated for the flute, and we designed four chapters of seasons for this concert. This concert were evaluated by the audiences to be one of the best concerts in Chengdu.
We became the strategic partner in China with Nikolaos Brass who is an excellent maker of ancient Greek lyre. Since 2015 when we brought the first Greek lyre to China, we have made great efforts to introduce the music and instrument to Chinese people. After these years, more and more Chinese people have known about Greek music and instrument, not only ancient Greek lyre, but also some others.
Together with the ancient Greek lyre, we organized a sharing event about Ancient Greek Art in Winshare BOOKS, and many young people came to this event. They liked the Greek yogurt made by me.
I have been the Greek travel blogger for years, but never thought I would be awarded to be the Ambassador of Tourism by a Chinese city. Thanks for Suining City!
Salsa has been my main hobby since my graduation from university during which I danced ballroom latin, and I was so lucky to have studied Salsa with the first master of Cuban Salsa in China Mr David Huo. In Copenhagen, Athens, Shanghai, Chengdu… Salsa has been an efficient way for me to adapt to the local society.
In the World Reading Day, we had a flashmob with Winshare BOOKS, and on 1st May, together with the salsa dancers from all over China, we had a flashmob in Chengdu, and became a member of World Rueda Flashmob Day.
ZHULI is a cultural project in Chongzhong City, and accepted by Venice Biennale. I was invited to perform Xiao in the Opening Ceremony, under the very nice designed architecture.
I have become the “part-time DJ” of many radio stations and medias, and more and more people know about our stories.
May~July, Athens, Epidaurus, Crete
We came to Greece in May, and stayed here for two and half months together with our baby. We wrote a series of articles titled “Miao in Greece”, to record the experiences he had in his journey in Greece. We went to shopping in the laiki, swimming in the beach, visit National Archaeological Museum, meeting our Greek musicians… This journey was very precious for him, and he met many friendly Greek friends.
He even received his first instrument from Nikolaos Brass, Hercules and Socrates, a baby’s baby lyre😏
We signed the MOU with Study in Greece, to give the support to Chinese students who are willing to study in Greece. We will also organize the first winter school in February 2019 together with University of Peloponnese and Hellenic Studies Center of Harvard University.
Many things happened during the two months, with Travel Bloggers Greece, National Archaeological Museum, TAKIM, Diazoma, Ross Daly, Municipality of Heraklion...
My New Adventure: Epidaurus Lyceum
Even till today, I’m still so thankful to have participated in Epidaurus Lyceum, though before the lyceum, I didn’t know what would happen except 140 hours study in 15 days.
The two weeks in Lygourio was full of hard working and study, from the morning to midnight. I met many excellent teachers and fellow students from all over the world, and the organizers had done wonderful work to make it happen.
I had been to Epidaurus for twice, but never stayed in the ancient stadium and the ancient theatre for so long time, and even have classes inside. I could feel the energy from thousands of actors who had performed here in the past thousand years. How lucky we were to study in such sacred monuments!
I still remembered that, when it was close to the end of our performance in the ancient stadium of Epidaurus, I fell down to the ground, “dying as a defeated citizen”. Suddenly all lights were off, and a dark sky full of bright stars suddenly appeared! I was shocked, lying down on the ancient land, quietly watching the stars. The moment was eternal.
The teacher told us, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus was the destination for all the theatre actors’ career, and we were so lucky to start from there.
From there, I started my fate with theatre.
A Appalling Fire
After the wildfire, more than one thousand houses were destroyed in the village Mati close to Athens, as well as hundreds of cars. A large number of people died and injured in the fire. I went to the village, to meet the people there, and to be the journalist for this shocking news. I was deeply touched by the people in the village. They were so optimistic, and helping each other. Many people from other places were coming with water, food and their love.
Right after getting back to Chengdu, I met Alexandros again, together with the friend from Chengdu Government. For these two great cities, I would be happy to contribute for their exchanges.
The top on the list in August was Muse Academy, which was the first educational institution in China for Ancient Greek Musical and Theatrical education. This is freshly new in China. Though drama in education has been popular in China, we can rarely see any Greek drama. After several events and a concert dedicated for children, Muse Academy welcomed her first students.
Ancient Greek lyre is the main instrument for the ancient Greek musical education, and very suitable for children. The students have been very interested in lyre and the Greek music, and they also like their teacher Eley Yuan.
The mother of Meimei (the student’s nick name) left this message:
Every Thursday night is the happiest during the whole week,
From ancient Greece to today’s Athens, from Athena to Poseidon,
From the rythm to the notes,
Meimei said time flies,
She was laughed to know nothing about music,
But now the changes as Domino will happen to her because of music.
Enjoying the time studying with you,
Not for showing off,
But only to learn more about the culture, music and history of the outside world.
End of September ~ Beginning of October, Athens, Crete, Peloponnese
Yes, I was back to Greece, for our annual project “Meet Greece Music Journey”. From 2015 to 2018, together with the Chinese musicians Chang Jing and Zhang Di, we had traveled to many places in Greece.
Three destinations: Athens, Crete, Peloponnese
Two univerisities: University of Athens, University of Peloponnese
Two municipalities: Municipality of Athens, Municipality of Heraklion
Two concerts: Basilica of Saint Mark in Heraklion (1239), Vouleftikon in Nafplio (1730)
Two workshops: Ancient Greek music workshop by Aliki, Pan and Athena; Ancient Greek instrument workshop by Nikolaos, Hercules and Socrates
One exhibition: Heinrich Schliemann and Antonis in Gennadius Library
One theatre performance: “Persians” directed by Yangos Adreadis
Two ancient civilizations: Minoan, Mycenae
Many monuments: Acropolis, Knossos, Ancient Mycenae, Epidaurus…
Beginning of October ~ Beginning of November, Chengdu
I was inspired in Epidaurus Lyceum, especially for Greek Theatre. So I made a big decision, to come to study Theatre in Greece. After contact with the four univerisities (Univeristy of Peloponnese, University of Athens, University of Patras and Aristotle University) who had the postgraduate programs for Theatre studies, I started the application for the MA of Drama in Education in University of Peloponnese.
This postgraduate study would be beneficial for our Theatre in Education in Muse Academy, and in the meantime, I would like to introduce and bring the Greek Theatre to China, just as what I have done for Greek music.
The whole process of the application was not easy, and a lot of documents needed to be prepared and double legalized. Thanks to the help from many friends including the teachers from the university, the consulate and the embassy, etc., finally I made it happen.
As told I’m the first foreign student in the postgraduate program of Theatre Studies in University of Peloponnese, and I have to thank for their braveness and open mind to accept me as their student. There has been few Chinese students studying in Greece except the exchange students, and I’m so honored to study Theatre in Greece where the theatre origins.
Besides busy with the application, I also needed to make arrangements for all my works in Chengdu. One of them was Meet Culture Xiao Association. Since I moved to Chengdu in April 2016, I had organized more than one hundred events for Xiao, and since the establishment of the Association in September 2017, there had been around 30 students and members studying Xiao with me.
November~December, Athens, Nafplio
This was the third time for me to come to Greece, and this time I came as a student. I managed to be aware of this new identity after quite some time.
I started my study in Nafplio, and have met so many nice teachers and classmates. I started a series of articles titled “I am Studying Theatre in Greece” to introduce my experience of studying in Greece, which can be useful and interesting for Chinese students.
In the meantime, I started to study Greek in University of Athens.
I had the weekly warm-ups with my friend Fanis on dancing, and also have met many artists here.
So luckily, I would have chance to study theatre acting with Katia Gerou, one of the most famous actresses in Greece. There are so many to learn, and this must be the happiest thing in life.
The project of Hermes - Ancient Greek Music Archaeology Project organized by University of Athens ended this November. Meet Culture started to be the supporter around two years ago, and we visited the laboratory of Hermes in the Meet Greece Music Journey in 2017 and 2018.
I was invited by Sofia Andrianou to perform with her and the rock band in Athens, with my flute Xiao which is an ancient Chinese instrument.
In the last days of the year, I was honored to join Lyre ‘n’ Rhapsody’s concert in Athens, and performed the pieces of ancient Chinese, traditional Greek and ancient Greek.
These days, we are preparing for our Greek Chinese Poetry Concert in January. This is a new project about the music and poetry of the two ancient civilizations.
Let’s farewell 2018 with Farewell in Yang Pass, a poem by Wang Wei from Tang Dynasty. Wish we all have a wonderful journey in the new year!
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