Harvard Shaolin Cultural Exchange

In May 2006, then Vice Mayor Bai Yuzhou of Deng Feng City and former Chief Secretary of the Shaolin Temple Li Zhijie visited Harvard under the auspices of Adams House to initiate an annual exchange program between Harvard students and the Shaolin Temple in Deng Feng, China. The program will be supported by the newly established Shaolin Cultural Foundation and funded in part by the Chinese government. Master Lee and a group of HTCTC members informally began the exchange in January of 2006 with a trip to the temple during intercession. The group, as special guests of the Deng Feng municipal government, was received formally by the mayor and gained audiences with the Abbot Shi Yongxin at the temple. In the words of Master Lee, "This is an exciting time for students from both sides of the world learning from and about each venerable institution combing ancient civilization with global education."

Since the Vice Mayor's historic visit in May 2006, Master Lee was appointed International Shaolin Cultural Ambassador by the Deng Feng Municipal Government.

From 5/21/07 to 6/9/07 Master Lee led a group of HTCTC club members on a journey through four of China’s cities: Beijing, Zhengzhou, Dengfeng, and Shanghai. After sightseeing in Beijing, including walking a segment of the Great Wall and touring the Imperial Palace Museum, the group flew to Zhengzhou, Henan Province. At the Zhengzhou Airport, we were graciously met by vehicles sent by Mayor Bai, and we were driven the short distance to his city, Dengfeng.

The stay in Dengfeng comprised the bulk of the trip, for it was there that club members received first-rate traditional Shaolin Kung Fu training at a local sports academy. Paying homage to the venerable Shaolin Temple was also made possible due to its close proximity to Dengfeng City.

After a week in Dengfeng, the group returned to Zhengzhou and visited Zhengzhou University, touring the grounds and conversing with members of their English Language Department. The last city visited on the trip was Shanghai, the Paris of the East, where Nanjing road offered dumplings and shopping. The group looks forward to their next chance to visit China, and is ever thankful for the organizers of this overseas experience.

Students interested in traveling to Dengfeng should e-mail Yon Lee (yonlee@fas)