NEW YORK— What is the essence of traditional Chinese culture? Is it kung fu, dumplings, or perhaps the snugly fit mandarin gown also known as the qipao? Contrary to popular belief, those do not equate to the epitome of Chinese culture.
Many people, even Chinese people, think of the 1920s qipao as the representative of traditional Chinese attire, or that martial arts is nothing more than thrilling tricks from kung fu movies. However, those elements are not the zenith of classical Chinese garment or martial arts.
New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) plans to make the true essence of traditional Chinese culture more widely known through its annual series of cultural competitions, the Global Chinese Competition Series.
Many essential elements of the Chinese heritage were lost during the Cultural Revolution. NTDTV is currently looking for contestants who are interested in researching, learning, and promoting authentic Chinese culture.
NTDTV is a nonprofit news station founded in 2001. It directly broadcasts uncensored news via satellite into parts of mainland China and has 100 million potential viewers around the world.
This year, NTDTV will be hosting its Global Han Couture Design, International Chinese Traditional Martial Arts, Chinese International Figure Painting, and Chinese International Piano Competitions in hopes of sparking interest in traditional culture, particularly Chinese culture.
International Chinese Traditional Martial Arts Competition
“In China, there are hundreds of major [martial arts] schools and an uncountable number of smaller ones,” said Tim Sun, the director of the competition series.
International Chinese Traditional Martial Arts
The registration deadline is July 15, 2013, for the Asia-Pacific region and September 15, 2013, for the North American region. All contestants must register in advance. This year’s competition does not accept on-site registration.
Methods of registration for the North American region:
1) Internet: http://martialarts.ntdtv.com
2) Email: email@example.com
3) Hotline: 1-646-736-2988
4) Fax: 1-212-918-3479
5) Mail: 229 W. 28th Street, Suite 700, New York, NY 10001, USA
Please address to: NTD Television International Chinese Traditional Martial Arts Competition Organizing Committee
Chinese International Piano
Preliminaries in Taiwan will be held at the end of August 2013. The registration deadline is August 1, 2013. Competitions in the United States will be held on October 25–27, 2013. The registration deadline is October 1, 2013.
Methods of registration:
Please address to: Organization Committee of NTD Third Chinese International Piano Competition
Chinese International Figure Painting
Contestants may submit their works of figure oil painting created by traditional, classical, realistic, and academic methods. Contestants must be either Chinese or Chinese descendants. The application deadline is July 10th, 2013.
Methods of registration:
1) Online registration: fill out the online forms.
2) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Mail: 229 W. 28th Street, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10001, USA
4) Telephone: 1-646-736-2988.
5) Fax: 1-212-918-3479
Global Han Couture Design
Registration is closed.
Each school has its own discipline, its own art.
According to Sun, Martial arts played a pivotal role in Chinese history; it would be a shame for these traditions to undergo atrophy.
Historically, the martial arts have played a large part in winning Chinese wars. Yue Fei (1103–1141), one of China’s most famous military generals, practiced and created martial arts styles.
Many Taoists also pursued martial arts for its spiritual significance.
This year will be NTDTV’s fourth martial arts competition. Contestants are required to research a traditional martial arts school and embrace its essence in the competition performance.
“This is not your typical competition,” Sun said. “In previous years, we’ve had students who entered with their teachers. The purpose of this competition isn’t to win, but to rediscover this culture and promote it.”
Registration for the martial arts competition lasts from Jan. 1 to Sept. 15 for North American competitors, and Jan. 1 to July 15 for Asia-Pacific entrees.
Global Han Couture Design Competition
There is currently a renaissance of traditional Chinese attire, according to Amy Lee, one of the judges of the competition.
Cultural experts have found that the climax of traditional Chinese fashion design belongs to that of the Han people from the Tang, Song, and Ming dynasties (A.D. 618–1644).
When Lee went to fashion design school in China in the 1980s, her curriculum only touched on the Han designs briefly. Many ancient traditions have not been passed down, she said.
The competition contestants are required to do research on traditional Chinese fashion, since its history is not incorporated in fashion design schools in China.
“This is our fourth competition … and people are beginning to realize that the qipao does not represent Chinese dress. More and more people are learning about the Han Couture,” Lee said.
There is a deeper layer to Han design, and it encompasses the essence of Chinese culture, according to Lee. Traditional Chinese culture emphasized civility, etiquette, and elegance; the ambiance of Han design is elegance.
“Wearing elegant clothing helps to refine a person’s speech and conduct,” she said. “You will automatically think of how should I behave when I wear elegance.”
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