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Poetry festival in mountains reveals local children’s sparkling talents

On a meadow of Paradise Mountain at an altitude of 2,400 meters stands a luminous boulder. Stepping into the boulder and looking up, one would see an inner wall engraved with children’s poems.

On Dec 23, China UnionPay, the world’s top bank card organisation, joined hands with the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation and a rural poetry education public welfare organisation to put on a poetry festival in the mountains in Mangshui Town, Changning County, southwest China’s Yunnan Province. The event was live-streamed online to showcase local children’s talents, as well as the charm of Chinese poetry and the goodwill of the Chinese people.

At the event, the children poets read and shared their poems, and sang poem-related songs. Besides, some unique local intangible cultural heritage performances were also staged, creating rounds of climax during the festival, which has attracted more than 30 million online viewers.

In the luminous boulder, people can get a POS receipt printed with several children’s poems by donating 1 yuan at the UnionPay Poetry POS, and all proceeds will be donated to the China Soong Ching Ling Foundation.

This event has also attracted the attention and support of many famous people at home and abroad, such as Olympic sailing champion Xu Lijia, Jake Pinnick, an American who has been practising martial arts for more than ten years, and media professional and online celebrity Andy Boreham, who read these children’s poems in a passionate manner to support the festival.

China UnionPay Poetry POS campaign was officially launched in July 2019. Over the past five years, the campaign has entered more than 400 schools in mountainous regions in Anhui, Henan, Sichuan, Xinjiang, Yunnan and other places.

More than 100 poetry classes (cross-school combined classes) have been organised, helping more than 7,000 local children receive artistic literacy education. In addition, the campaign has collected over 6,000 poems and published a collection titled Little Poets in the Mountains. The first UnionPay public welfare library and 114 public welfare book corners have been put into use in Jinzhai, east China’s Anhui Province.

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