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Harbin Institute of Technology

The President ZHOU Yu Provided a Traditional Culture Lesson for Undergraduates

Updated: 2017/7/21
Reported by: SHANG Yankai
Photographed by: FENG Jian
Translated by: REN Shaorui
Edited by: Garrick Jones
Date: July 14, 2017


Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, the Party Central Committee with Comrade XI Jinping as the core has attached great importance to the inheritance and innovation of the outstanding traditional culture of China, which has been placed at the height of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and integrated into a series of new ideas, new thoughts, and new strategies of governance. To guide the students to understand profound Chinese culture and enhance the cognition and confidence of the traditional culture, the President ZHOU Yu provided a vivid traditional culture lesson for undergraduates on the evening of July 12th, entitled Poetry Metre and Poetry Appreciation.

   In expectation of the arrival of the President, 2nd Campus, Room 21 in the main building was filled with people. There were even a lot of people standing in the corridor waiting. It can be seen that the students were all looking forward to such a lesson on traditional culture. As soon as President ZHOU appeared in the classroom, a loud applause broke out.

“Influenced by my family environment, I have a special preference for poetry. 40 years ago when the country just resumed college entrance examination, I went to college with a lot of poetry books. As an amateur in poetry, I usually consult with my friends about poetry. Especially after watching the program of the Chinese Poetry Conference, I am very inspired and very willing to share ideas with others.” ZHOU said humorously before the lesson.

First of all, Zhou Yu shared his thoughts and insights about poetry with the students. In his view, poetry is a form of literature, a carrier of culture, and an important part of Chinese traditional culture. The Chinese culture is extensive and profound, and there are a great number of excellent Chinese poets and poems, far exceeding the scope of Three hundred Poems of the Tang Dynasty. Reading ancient poetry is an effective channel to understand the essence of Chinese traditional culture, thus comprehending the connotation of national culture wisdom and enhancing ones cultural and aesthetic taste. Therefore, it is necessary to carry out the cultural quality education with the traditional culture as the core in the universities of science and technology, which is conducive to improving the overall cultural accomplishment of the teachers and students.

He believes that poetry is full of rich imagination where words are concise but meanings are endless. Only through infinite imagination, readers can truly understand the implication of poems. Poetry shows the creativity, desire, passion, thought, and expression skills of the poets. It is of great benefit if we can read poems carefully. Above all, the usual accumulation is the basis for good understanding of poetry. Students should recite extensively famous poems and learn about common cultural knowledge and allusions, thus cultivating good literary accomplishment and language sense and further achieving the solid knowledge foundation, aesthetic delight, and enlightenment.

ZHOU Yu explained the basic knowledge about poetry metre in a simple way from such 4 aspects as format, rhyme, rhythm and antithesis. Meanwhile, he cited some celebrity allusions and introduced the creation of the Couplets with Chinese Character Chun and Wonder Child Poems. By analyzing the famous Chinese poet SU Shi’s representative poems such as Song of Pilgrimage, the Charms of Niannu as well as the German poet Gerd’s words “dancing with shackles”, the President revealed the philosophy of life applicable to ancient and modern times. What’s more, ZHOU cited some poetry works by such masters as LI Bai, DU Fu, HAN Yu, WANG Anshi, LIU Yuxi, MAO Zedong. Through the in-depth interpretation to the background, the expression and the implied philosophy of these works, the President encouraged the students to learn from the wisdom of the ancients and become ambitious and inclusive, thus daring to face setbacks in their learning life and lead a wonderful life with many achievements.

After the lesson, ZHOU Yu conducted face-to-face communication with students. “You are so busy. Do you have time to read poetry?” Some students asked. ZHOU replied with smile, “Every time I rest, I am very happy to read some books on classical literature and poetry. For me, reading poetry is a kind of enjoyment. Whenever reading some good poems, there is a feeling of finding treasure.”

Students also asked, “Through the lessons, we can see that you are committed to disseminating the traditional culture, and also have profound and unique views on poetry metre. There is a couplet in A dream of Red Mansions ‘A grasp of mundane affairs is genuine knowledge. Understanding of worldly wisdom is true learning.’ By this couplet, what attitude do you think contemporary college students should hold towards human affairs?” ZHOU said, “We live in a multicultural society. College students should hold a mutually inclusive attitude to face our world, and correctly understand and grasp the things of good and evil, right and wrong, moving in the right direction of life. When you take a job, strive to love it, burrow into it, and master it.”

During the lesson

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The President ZHOU Yu Provided a Traditional Culture Lesson for Undergraduates