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Explore Shandong: A foreigner's Spring Festival travel in a Jinan village
english.jinan.gov.cn2022-02-21

In Matao village, Alexander Frey, a Swiss post-90s entrepreneur who has lived in Jinan for eight years, witnessed a different Spring Festival.

"It's really a gorgeous experience of the traditional Chinese New Year, especially in the village. It's so different. People dance and sing. It's the charms of a village," said Frey when he experienced yangko, a popular rural folk dance with locals in Matao on Jan 29.

 

Click the video to learn more about Frey's one-day adventure in Matao village during the Spring Festival. [Video/provided to english.jinan.gov.cn]

With several years of effort, Maotao village in Jinan's Changqing district has evolved into a modern village with rural tourism. In 2015, the village established a tourism cooperative, utilizing its natural resources and traditional culture to develop rural tourism, which has attracted a large number of visitors and increased local income significantly.

Frey learned to make Chinese dumplings and experienced the city's intangible culture heritage – paper-cutting and a local specialty – sour pancake – on that day.

He also paid a visit to the village's tea estate and sampled some of the local brew.

Matao village began growing tea in 2009 and founded a cooperative in 2013, according to Xue Lili, general manager of Matao village Tourism and Resorts Specialized Cooperative. The village has now planted tea trees over a large region.

"Life in the village will get better and better," Frey stated as his journey came to an end.

Frey shows his paper-cutting artwork in Matao village, Jinan. [Photo/provided to english.jinan.gov.cn]

Frey experiences yangko with local villagers in Matao village, Jinan. [provided to english.jinan.gov.cn]

Frey makes dumplings with locals in Matao village, Jinan. [Photo/provided to enlgish.jinan.gov.cn]

Xue Lili, general manager of Matao village Tourism and Resort Specialized Cooperative introcues the village's tea industry to Frey at a tea planation in Matao village, Jinan. [Photo/provided to english.jinan.gov.cn]

Frey enjoys tea and chatting with locals in Matao village, Jinan. [Photo/provided to english.jinan.gov.cn]

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