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Portuguese runs Chinese art school

Reporter: Dan Williams 丨 CCTV.com

10-10-2016 12:57 BJT

Full coverage: Li Meets Leaders of Portuguese-speaking Countries in Macao

As Chinese arts gain popularity in Portugal, local people are taking the initiative to teach them. And one man is focusing on martial arts.

This quiet street in the heart of Porto has become a centre point for more than 300 people. That is because for the last 30 years, students have descended on this building to study and practice Chinese arts and medicine.

Since it was formed, the She Si school has had some 6,000 members. It was all the dream of Paulo Araujo, who studied Chinese arts in Macao before returning to Porto.

“We know it was very difficult. At the beginning we start with one student, two students. And then they bring others. And of course we dream that we could build something that would be good for the people, for young kids and try and build something that could fill your life,” Araujo said.

The She Si team has grown from those modest beginnings and they now compete across the globe. And it offers students an alternative to traditional Portuguese past-times.

“I practiced football before this one day I went here and I saw one class and I like it so I say why not try and I try and I like it,” said She Si member Joaquim Pereira.

It is early morning in Porto and the She Si team is already busy practicing. And making their presence known in the neighborhood.

The dragon dance team is a key part of She Si. It still has the ability to stop onlookers. In time, Paulo hopes to expand his dream further into the fabric of Porto.

“My main idea for the future is get involved more the schools. The kids that are in the schools, I want our teachers to go there and teach them. To improve the level and make more people practice Chinese martial arts so it could be a better students, a better man in life you know,” Araujo said.

This is a city famous for its port industry. But in time, it could also gain a reputation for other pursuits.

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