California honors origin of kung fu

Updated: 2014-03-19 08:28

By An Baijie in Beijing and Chen Jia in San Francisco (China Daily)

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California honors origin of kung fu

The art of restoring terracotta figurines

California honors origin of kung fu

Nuo Opera mask workshop in Hubei
Later, the visiting monks will perform Shaolin kung fu at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater in San Francisco. Shaolin Temple USA students will give a display of martial arts.

Shi will also attend a blessing and inauguration ceremony at the Shaolin Kung Fu & Zen Medicine Wellness Center in Sunnyvale, California.

"We hope to show the harmonious philosophy of Shaolin culture and the healthy lifestyle of Shaolin Zen meditation and let everybody experience the essence of Asian culture," he said.

Located in mountainous Dengfeng, Henan province, Shaolin Temple has a history stretching back more than 1,500 years.

The temple has been busy on the international front recently. In October the First North American Shaolin Cultural Festival opened at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The event drew 45 teams and more than 800 competitors from North America, along with thousands of Shaolin culture enthusiasts and Chinese martial arts enthusiasts.

The festival highlighted various aspects of Shaolin heritage with kung fu performances in New York and Los Angeles.

Also that month, Shi gave a lecture on the wisdom of Buddhists at Harvard University.

About 200,000 foreigners visit Shaolin Temple every year, and hundreds stay at the temple to study kung fu and experience Shaolin culture, Shi said.

Its popularity is closely related to China's rapid development in the past decades, the abbot said.

Ling Jiefang, a writer, said that as an ancient Buddhist monastery, the Shaolin Temple has a historical and cultural value that is unique.

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