Cai Defu (left), a Shanghai-style paper-cutting master, shows the art of paper cutting to a visitor in Luodian Town in Baoshan District.
Local rural culture was the highlight of the annual citizens art festival on March 25.
Over a dozen ancient skills from cooking, painting, paper-cutting and weaving were exhibited in Luoxi Park in Luodian Town of Baoshan District with masters performing and teaching on the site to visitors.
Many of these district-level skills — part of city’s heritage — were developed over a century ago by local villagers. The fish-ball delicacy, for instance, is a skill that originated in Luodian during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) when it was a prosperous fishing village.
Baoshan District’s culture, radio, film & TV bureau, the organizer of the event, said promotion of these little-known traditional skills will be held regularly to popularize rural folk culture.
A fish-ball "master" teaches a girl how to make the traditional local delicacy during a competition in Luodian Town in Baoshan District.
A fish-ball making competition was held during the exhibition.
Ten “masters,” who were selected from a series of contests held in the town, made the traditional delicacy on stage. A panel of judges tasted them and picked the winner — 70-year-old Zhou Lianghua.
Zhou said he was only 13 years old when he learnt to cook the fish balls from his mother.
“I have no secret formula but to combine the meat of local grass-eating fish, egg white and salt properly,” said Zhou, who was the cook at the district’s Huju Opera house.
Now retired, Zhou said he makes the fish balls only for his family.
Other popular cultural heritage on display included the making of Sixi, or Four Happiness Cake in Luojing Town, the city’s major agricultural base, bamboo basket weaving in Yuepu Town as well as cloth painting and paper-cutting in Gaojing Town.
Cai Defu learnt Shanghai-style paper-cutting skill from his mother.
He offers free classes at local elementary and middle schools to teach the traditional skills to the young generation.
Yesterday, he showed visitors the basic paper cutting skills at the exhibition.