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Handicraft is shǒugōng (手工)


Handicraft is one of the finer aspects of Chinese culture, which never fail to astound me especially since I am hopeless at art and craft.

Once, a man squatted by the side of a mall crafting small animals and insects from blades of grass!

The handicraft was exquisite and a small crowd gathered to watch him at work. He only charged RMB2 for a little grasshopper I bought. I told him he should charge RMB10 for it. He laughed and said that it’d be a miracle if he could sell off the stock of the day.

I really loved that grasshopper, which dangled from a shelf for a few days before the grass dried out. Hmm, I think the man could use a hardier type of grass to make it last longer? It’s sad that an artisan like him can’t even make a decent living.

Other than that, I have also seen beautiful paper crafts made by some of my students. They folded paper animals, paper lanterns and Chinese characters.

The handicraft is so well crafted, they are beautiful pieces of art, which I will treasure with fond memories of my Chinese students.

It’s no wonder China is the world’s factory because the Chinese pay attention to detail when it comes to handiwork. Heck, they can even make French, German, Italian and Russian souvenirs!

I must remember to buy myself a beautiful keepsake from China.

I thought of buying some jade jewellery but nowadays, fake jade is also being sold, which puts a damper on my shopping expedition.

Maybe I should enlist the help of one of my Chinese friends to help me out because I want to buy some for my mom. Wouldn’t that make a nice Christmas present?

I’ve also thought of making myself a few qipaos to take home with me. Gosh, I must do this soon before I forget!