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US students enjoy Shanxi culture at close quarters

( chinadaily.com.cn )

Updated: 2017-03-15

A high school student delegation from the United States showcased American music and experienced the historical charms of Shanxi during a visit to the province in North China from March 13 to 15.

The trip, organized by Asia Holiday Travel and Shanxi Business International Travel Agency, aimed to further cultural communication between the two countries and boost Shanxi's tourist industry.

"The previous itineraries to China focused on popular tourist cities like Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai," said Ma Kuanchi, CEO of Asia Holiday Travel, who has organized some 8,000 visits to China by US high school students in recent years.

"As Shanxi province opens high-speed rail connections to Beijing and Xi'an, Shanxi has become a natural stop for foreign tourists, bringing more American tourists to the province," Ma added.

The American group, made up of 70 students from North Monterey County High School, toured Taiyuan, the capital city of the province, and Pingyao, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a history dating back 2,700 years.

The students learned about local history at close quarters while visiting local historical sites, such as the Ancient City of Pingyao, and Rishengchang Exchange Shop –– China's first draft bank built during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

They also played American music, including folk pieces, in Pingyao and at the Affiliated High School of Shanxi University in Taiyuan, exhibiting the best of American culture to local students.

D.L. Johnson, conductor of the North Monterey County High School Band, promised that he will take his experiences back to the United States and tell others about his visit to Shanxi.

The US tour group will continue its cultural exchange to Xi'an and then head on to Shanghai, finishing their trip on March 23.

US students enjoy Shanxi culture at close quarters

Students of North Monterey County High School from the United States play pieces of music at the Affiliated High School of Shanxi University on March 13. The concert aimed to further cultural communication between China and US through music from the two countries. [Photo/sxrb.com]

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