Southern Chinese Culture:
Students will learn about traditional Anhui architecture, calligraphy, local food specialties. One uncommon experience students will receive is a Buddhist meditation session from a monk-in- residence at the Jiuhua monastery. Our April itinerary coincides with the heart of Huangshan’s tea harvest season, so we recommend this timing for students to experience the lively buzz of farmers and tea salesman lining the streets selling the freshest green teas in China!
This trip will expose students to the concepts of development, ecosystems/resource management and tourism, focusing on the differences in scale and unique approaches taken in various locations. For example, we can look at water management via large-scale public works projects like dams and small-scale stone irrigation channels in traditionally preserved villages.
Depending on the needs and requests of the school, The Hutong can organize a charity or education-related project with a Hefei NGO, local school or collaborative project with Anhui University. Past projects have included collaborating with organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Enabled Disabilities and migrant schools to create long-term projects and partnerships from building bookshelves to fundraising.
Meet our local expert Dawei:
Originally from Beijing, Dawei worked for and started some of his own companies in both China and Australia before coming to the realization that the person and lifestyle he maintained were not bringing lasting satisfaction. He turned to Buddhist practices and formally became a monk in the Mt. Jiuhua area. He has since used his talents to restore a local temple and teach students young and old about his passions: the Buddha, tea, and simple living.