China Focus: Chinese museums greet more young people as passion for traditional culture grows-Xinhua

China Focus: Chinese museums greet more young people as passion for traditional culture grows

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-18 16:21:01

BEIJING, May 18 (Xinhua) -- For 24-year-old Li Min, memories of this year's May Day holiday "museum feast" remain vivid, as she visited six museums along the Hexi Corridor in northwest China's Gansu, which features five UNESCO World Heritage Sites and 53 grottoes spread across a 1,000-km stretch in the province's western region.

Li is not alone in her passion for museums, as an increasing number of young people in China are making museums a must-visit highlight during their city tours.

According to China's online travel agency Ctrip, people born in the 2000s were the third largest group of buying museum tickets in 2023, following those born in the 1980s and 1990s. Also, the amount of cultural and museum-themed tourist products purchased by young people born in the 2000s was 9.2 times the amount in 2022.

In 2023, a new record for museum attendance was set in China, with over 6,000 museums nationwide registering a total of 1.29 billion visits throughout the year, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

During the May Day holiday this year, the total number of museum visits exceeded 50 million, the highest in history for the same period, according to the National Cultural Heritage Administration.

Li Wenchu, curator of the Luoyang Museum in central China's Henan Province, attributed the surge in museum attendance by young people to a growing trend of innovation adopted by Chinese museums in presenting artifacts.

Compared to traditional museums, modern museums in China place greater emphasis on technology, particularly digital technology, in showcasing artifacts, Li said.

This perspective is echoed by Li Min. She noted that interactive touchscreen, for example, has become standard equipment at museums in China, closing the gap between the public and cultural relics by offering more lifelike displays and diverse perspectives. "It is more engaging compared to simply viewing relics through glass."

At the National Museum of Chinese Writing in Anyang City, located in Henan Province, visitors were seen gathering around an electronic screen. By tapping on an oracle bone script displayed on the screen, the corresponding animal image lights up and sounds play. This innovative approach brings to life millennia-old and obscure characters, making them more engaging and accessible to visitors.

"The popularity of museums is closely related to the growing demands of tourists for more intellectual and cultural enrichment," said Yu Jian, an official of the Tianjin Museum.

Young people's engagement with exhibitions is evolving from passive visits to active participation and in-depth research and study, highlighting a focus on quality and individualism, Yu noted.

Fueled by young people's passion for museums and traditional culture, activities such as Hanfu photography, night tourism and study tours that focus on intangible cultural heritage have seen a surge in popularity.

Data from Meituan showed that since April, searches related to Hanfu makeup and styling have increased by 136 percent compared to the same period last year on a leading online services platform.

In historical cities like Xi'an and Luoyang, it's common to see young people dressed in Hanfu taking photos at museums, historical sites and scenic areas.

Meanwhile, as a new form of culture-tourism integration, museum night tours are becoming a prominent component of China's nighttime economy.

In March, museums in Anyang launched night tour programs to enable more visitors to experience the charm of its millennia-old cultural heritage.

Experts believe that enthusiasm for museums among young people will continue to grow as more online digital experiential products become available in Chinese museums.