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American teacher hungry for Wenzhou traditional edible art

ALMS|Updated: March 31, 2022

Watch the video to see Craig Blacklock learn how to make Wenzhou rice figurines. [Video/Wenzhou Overseas Media Center]

Craig Blacklock, an American who teaches English at Wenzhou-Kean University, recently discovered what "Zhen Sheng Huo", a word in the Wenzhou dialect meaning "incredible", is all about after visiting local rice figurine artist Dong Xihuo.

"I never imagined the Wenzhou people would be able to combine traditional food with exquisite handicrafts so perfectly," Blacklock said.

According to Dong, the craft behind making rice figurines in Wenzhou boasts a history of over 1,000 years and are used on various occasions. For example, rice figurines of dragons, phoenixes, lions and tigers are used as wedding decorations and figurines of flat peaches for celebrating newborn babies.

Dong also taught Blacklock how to make a rice figurine of Bing Dwen Dwen, the mascot for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games.

"Our craftsmanship must keep pace with the changing times. I hope that rice figurines can become known by people around the world," Dong said.

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