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'Chinese Poetry Conference' receives viewers' applause

CCTV.com

03-03-2017 08:21 BJT

(Source: CGTN)

Traditional Chinese poetry has been cast into the spotlight after the airing of China Central Television's latest series 'Chinese Poetry Conference'. The second series of the Chinese Poetry 'Conference wrapped up on Tuesday, and has received a warm response from both critics and viewers.

The show Chinese Poetry Conference brings together amateur contestants and expert scholars through a competition aimed to rekindle people's appreciaton for Chinese poetry and forge a better understanding of its cultural roots.

For the second series, the show has taken to an even bigger stage, adopting impressive visual effects and dramatic stage-lighting.

The selection of poetry for this year's competition has also widened to include the revolutionary works of Chairman Mao, as well as the classical poetry written during China's ancient dynasties.

"Through the bridge of poetry, the people today can resonate with the aesthetics, values of our ancestors. Their wisdom gained new life in the modern world," Yao Xishuang with Chinese Poetry Conference said.

The competition saw over 100 hopeful contestants taking part in a number of challenges. The contestants, whose age ranges from 7 to 70, include students, farmers, teachers and foreign participants with an interest in Chinese literature.

Bai Ruyun is one of the contestants. After undergoing grueling sessions of chemotherapy, Bai has found a source of consolation in the poetry. The frail 40-year-old farmer suffering from lymphoma charmed her way into the hearts of millions in China after reciting couplets after couplets from ancient texts on national television.

"In poetry, I’ve found echoes of human emotions, including happiness, anger, joy and sorrow. When I read the ancient text, I feel I reached the depths of this poems and found the real meaning of them," Contestant Bai Ruyun said.

Many in China start to recite ancient poems out loud while still in kindergarten. This intimate relationship between classical poetry and the Chinese public may explain why this low-budget reality-TV show became such a surprise hit, triggering heated discussions.

“Almost all of us have recited verses from ancient poems during our school days, but most of the memories faded as we grew up. But the familiar feeling comes back whenever we are reminded.”

The Second Chinese Poetry Conference started its latest TV run on Jan 29, right after the Lunar New Year, riding on the festive spirit and culture of the Chinese Spring Festival.

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