On the occasion of the 24th National Mandarin Promotion Week, a circulating exhibition of “Oracle-Bone Inscriptions Code—Journey to Seek the Roots of Chinese Characters” openedon September 14, 2021. Curated by the Social Education Department of the National Museum of China (NMC), the exhibition was held in the No. 359 Brigade Tunken Memorial Hall in the First Division of Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC) Alar City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. The exhibition is co-sponsored by the NMC, China Cultural Heritage Foundation, and the Publicity Department of the Alar Municipal Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), with the Bureau of Culture, Sports, Radio, Television and Tourism, and the Education Bureau of Alar City as co-organizers. Wang Ruihua, Deputy Director of the Alar Municipal Bureau of Culture, Sports, Radio, Television, and Tourism, Yang Zhimin, Deputy Inspector of the Education Bureau, Cai Baoguang, Secretary-General of the China Cultural Heritage Foundation, and Hu Jian, Director of the Social Education Department of NMC, attended the opening ceremony.
On exhibition were 60 representative cultural relics (groups) selected from the NMC’s collection. The exhibition was comprised of four parts, namely, “Secrets of Oracle Bones”, “On the Inscriptions”, “From the Oracle-Bone Inscriptions to the Present”, and “Charming Chinese Characters”. It aims to find out the secrets of the oracle-bone inscriptions, track the development and pursue the beauty of Chinese characters, and explore the extensive, profound, cordial, and interesting culture carried by ancient Chinese characters.
After the opening ceremony, members from various agencies and teachers in Alar City visited the exhibition. Students from Alar Middle School, No. 1 Middle School, and the Tenth Regiment No. 1 Middle School participated in educational activities themed on oracle-bone inscriptions with rich content. Through exhibition interpretation, animations, games, interactive experience, and other entertainments, NMC’s teachers led the students to understand what is the oracle-bone inscription and explored the cultural charm contained in the ancient Chinese character system represented by oracle-bone inscriptions from such aspects as sacrificial rituals, food, travel, and commerce of Shang Dynasty.
In the afternoon of September 14, the Publicity Department of the CPC Alar Municipal Committee organized more than 300 Party members, officers, and soldiers from relevant departments toattend the lecture “Standing Tall in the East—Party History in Classic Art Works” hostedby NMC’s Social Education Department. The exhibition of artworks and cultural relics collected by NMC provided a whole picture of the hardships, twists, and turns of the Chinese revolution from “A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire” to the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, and recalled the years of tortuous adventures and struggles when the revolutionary martyrs fought bloody battles in the hope to let participants keep firmly in mind where the revolutionary government came from and how the new China was established. After the lecture, Party members, military officers and soldiers of different units expressed that they wanted to see more. They said that this kind of Party history education was lively and interesting, and hoped that the NMC could introduce more such activities with fresh forms and rich contents into Xinjiang.
During the exhibition, NMC’s Social Education Department conducted professional training for interpreters at the No. 359 Brigade Tunken Memorial Hall. The theme of the training was “Interpreters Needed in the New Era”. It provided systematic and comprehensive guidance for interpreters from agencies under the local cultural tourism system through case analysis, experience sharing, interpretation and demonstration, etc. In the meantime, the training took into consideration the current development trend of museum interpretation work and the requirements of the times.
In addition, these teachers also went to the Ninth Regiment Middle School in Alar City to carry out “Chinese Classics Reading and Teaching” educational activities and instructed the students on how to pronounce Mandarin Chinese and relevant techniques. Taking advantage of Langya Carved Inscription and other cultural relics of NMC, the activity provided an opportunity for students to feel the charm of the Chinese language and characters and gain a deep understanding of the importance of promoting and using Mandarin. As a result, they will make more efforts to learn, speak and spread Mandarin in their study and life.
Teachers from Alar Middle School said that they learned about the evolution of Chinese characters and felt the profoundness of Chinese culture through this activity. In the future teaching, they held that it is their responsibility and obligation to impart what they have learned to the children, let them feel the cultural inheritance, and enhance their identity with Chines culture. After the activity, the students excitedly said that they like oracle-bone inscriptions more. Not only do they want to search for more information, but also want to share the knowledge they have learned with other students when they went back.
NMC shoulders the responsibility and mission of inheriting the national cultural genes and disseminating excellent culture. This circulating exhibition has given full play to its resources. During the exhibition, NMC has implemented the strategy of nourishing the cultures of Xinjiang in the form of educational activities, special lectures, interpretation and training, and promoted in-depth interaction and exchanges between NMC and Xinjiang local museums. As a result, the coverage and influence of cultural dissemination have been expanded and enhanced, which contributes to the development of local talents and culture, and maximizes the sharing and dissemination of NMC’s resources.