By Gou Wen
Recently, the 2022 "Cultural City of East Asia" youth cultural exchange program kicked off in Ningbo, Nara, and Jeju. In the very first event of this year, more than 60 teenagers joined an online conference where they presented their hometowns' cuisine.
At Ningbo Library, 20 young people from local colleges and middle schools gave presentations to fellow teenagers in Nara and Jeju via remote conferencing. Speaking English, Korean and Japanese fluently, they introduced Ningbo's specialty foods and put on musical performances.
"Seafood is part of Ningbo's specialty cuisine. Marinating raw seafood is our unique preparation technique. I hope the world could discover my hometown Ningbo through our food," said Xiong Wei, a student from Ningbo University of Finance & Economics, after talking about liquor-saturated shrimp in his presentation.
"I was born and raised in Ningbo, and I often go to South Korea. I find that there are many differences in cooking between the two countries, even when using the same ingredients," said Korean-Chinese teenager Kim Riyeong.
Teenagers from Nara, Japan, and Jeju, South Korea also talked about their local foods, such as bento and kimchi. They called the cultural exchange event meaningful, as it deepened everyone's understanding of foreign food and culture, and expressed their anticipation for similar activities in the future where young people from different countries could strengthen bonds.
In the talent show, the teenagers performed folk dances, played ethnic musical instruments, and demonstrated their painting skills onstage, highlighting the cultural charm of Ningbo, Jeju and Nara.
According to the organizers of the event, the friendship between Ningbo, Nara and Jeju has a long history. The three cities have been connected by the Maritime Silk Road since the Tang Dynasty. Since being jointly elected as the "Cultural Cities of East Asia" in 2016, they host cultural exchange programs annually.
The 2022 "Cultural City of East Asia" youth cultural exchange will continue until mid- or late November. Future online events will showcase young people's film and literary creations.
Chief Adviser: Zhao Qingchuan
Proofreader: Xu Zhuowei