Feature: Int'l secondary school students experience traditional Chinese medicine in Malta
Dong Xiaoyan, a member of the 18th Chinese Medical Team for Malta, explains moxibustion therapy to a group of secondary school students from Germany and Luxembourg who are on a cultural exchange trip in Paola, Malta, April 5, 2023. (Xinhua/Chen Wenxian)
VALLETTA, April 6 (Xinhua) -- Over 20 secondary school students from Germany and Luxembourg on Wednesday experienced traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) during their cultural exchange trip to Malta.
The students visited the Mediterranean Regional Center for Traditional Chinese Medicine (MRCTCM) in Paola, Malta, where doctors from the 18th Chinese Medical Team for Malta demonstrated TCM treatments, such as moxibustion, cupping and massage, and explained their effects in an easy-to-understand way.
In addition to TCM treatments, the students had the opportunity to taste traditional Chinese food, make dumplings and learn about the liver-cleansing and detoxifying effects of chrysanthemum tea.
The activity was organized by the Confucius Institute Trier in Germany, with support of the Confucius Institute at the University of Malta.
Li Yi, Chinese director of the Confucius Institute Trier, told Xinhua that the trip was organized for students to come to Malta for cultural exchange during their holidays because Malta has rich Chinese cultural resources.
Experiencing TCM is an important part of the week-long trip, Li said, adding that within a week, students not only had Chinese language classes but also had a comprehensive experience of Chinese culture, which was "a very good opportunity."
During the students' visit to the MRCTCM, Zhang Yilong, a member of the medical team, gave a brief lecture on some basic theories of TCM for them. They were then divided into groups to observe and experience different TCM treatments.
Students showed great enthusiasm for the TCM treatments. Adrien Ricciardi, a 16-year-old student from Luxembourg, expressed his excitement after experiencing cupping therapy.
"It is interesting to see the different treatments," he told Xinhua after his first TCM experiment. Ricciardi started learning Chinese in October of last year, and showed a strong interest in TCM. He said he took a lot of notes while listening to the doctor's explanations.
"I am surprised of the feeling," said Thalia Dumortier, 16, from Luxembourg, after she tried cupping therapy. "It is a good experiment, very interesting," she added.
Dumortier, who has studied Chinese for two years, watched videos about TCM before, but she never knew it very well. She said the experiment was "very helpful" for her to learn TCM.
Karl-Heinz Pohl, the foreign director of the Confucius Institute Trier and a German sinologist, described TCM as "a wealth of tradition and very valuable," adding that "we still have not really, fully explored this rich tradition."
Pohl has visited China many times and enjoys practicing Qigong and Tai Chi. He emphasized that this experience showed the participants one important aspect of Chinese culture, and he expected more opportunities as such for students to explore rich Chinese culture.
According to Dong, besides clinical diagnosis and treatment, strengthening international exchanges in TCM and promoting the TCM overseas is also an important mission of the medical team.
The international secondary school students who came for the exchange all love the Chinese language and Chinese culture, and through the exchange and experience, they could have a deeper and more vivid understanding of TCM and Chinese culture, Dong said.
Dong Xiaoyan, a member of the 18th Chinese Medical Team for Malta, demonstrates moxibustion therapy for a group of secondary school students from Germany and Luxembourg who are on a cultural exchange trip in Paola, Malta, April 5, 2023. (Xinhua/Chen Wenxian)
Zhang Yilong, a member of the 18th Chinese Medical Team for Malta, gives a lecture on traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) to a group of secondary school students from Germany and Luxembourg who are on a cultural exchange trip in Paola, Malta, April 5, 2023. (Xinhua/Chen Wenxian)