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Songhua inkstones tell Jilin stories in Hangzhou

To further deepen cultural and tourism exchanges and cooperation between Jilin and Zhejiang provinces and implement their "Exchange of 10 Million Tourists" program, Jilin started a cultural and tourism promotion week in Hangzhou on June 8.

The promotion, sponsored by the Jilin Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, featured the province as a great summer and winter tourist destination – with cool weather in the summer and ice and snow fun in the winter.

The opening activity of the promotion week was a Songhua inkstone exhibition. The first such exhibition Jilin hosted in Hangzhou, the event was open to the public free of charge at Zhejiang Exhibition Hall through June 12.

The 108 inkstones on show were divided into eight categories including imperial inkstones, inkstones with micro carvings, inkstones with seal carvings, calligraphy inkstones, inkstones made of rare stones and traditional inkstones.

86-year-old master craftsman Peng Zushu, who made the inkstones, was at the exhibition to tell the stories behind the inkstones to a big crowd of local audiences around him.

"Songhua stones are one of Jilin's most valuable assets. I will do my best to integrate the art of Songhua inkstones into Jilin’s culture and tourism industry, and hopefully this will help bring more tourists into Jilin," said Peng.

Zhang Huanze, who took his daughter to the exhibition, could not take his eyes off when he saw an inkstone that has texts of "The Analects of Confucius," carved on it.

"How skillful it is to micro carve classic works on the stone. I will recommend parents to take their children to the exhibition," he said.

The Week also highlighted a promotion at the same venue on June 10, during which Jilin and Zhejiang launched a "Year of Public Interaction" cultural and tourism program. Under the program, Jilin started to recruit the first Zhejiang tourists to go on VIP tours to experience its cool summer.

In recent years, Jilin has launched 25 leisure tour routes in the Zhejiang market based on its eastern and western loop line tourism resources.

Jia Xin, a marketing official at Jilin Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism, said, "From the Year of Government Interaction in 2017 and the Year of Enterprise Interaction in 2018 to this year's Year of Public Interaction, Jilin and Zhejiang's cultural and tourism cooperation has entered its third year. We will work to deepen public interaction. This time, we bring our most precious cultural and tourism commodities to Zhejiang and make them easily accessible by the public. We hope this will help attract the public to explore the different aspects of Jilin and get up-to-date information about the province's cultural and tourism industry. This is a new approach we are taking."