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An ice reason to cross the Strait

Updated: 2024-02-15 12:40 ( China Daily )
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Members of a winter camp for Taiwan students pose for the camera inside body shapes carved into a wall of snow during their visit to Shulan, Jilin province, last month. [Photo/Xinhua]

During this year's winter vacation and Spring Festival, many people from Taiwan have traveled to the Chinese mainland, especially to experience the trendy Northeast China ice and snow tours, an experience not available in Taiwan.

Lee Chiao-an, from Taipei and a student studying at National Chengchi University, recently visited Jilin province for five days with some other friends from Taiwan. They learned to make fish skin necklaces and experienced activities such as skiing and admiring the rime.

One of the activities that left a deep impression on her was the local traditional activity of ice fishing on the frozen surface of Chagan Lake.

"This is my first visit to such a cold place. The freshly caught fish is surprisingly heavy — an interesting experience indeed," she said.

Chen Chiu-ching, currently studying at Nanjing Normal University, who also visited Northeast China this winter, said: "Exploring the diverse history and culture of the mainland has opened my eyes to aspects I never knew before.

"I've been to Harbin in Heilongjiang province before, but standing on the thick ice this time is a new experience for me.

"The climate and cuisine here are vastly different from Taiwan, offering me a wealth of new experiences," she said.

In a recent Taiwan television program introducing the popularity of traveling to Harbin, Tsai Cheng-yuan, a renowned Taiwan commentator, said he also harbors a desire to visit Harbin during this year's Spring Festival to see the ice sculptures and taste local specialties.

Recently, going to Northeast China to experience the charm of ice and snow has become a hot trend, attracting many tourists from the southern parts of China.

They have been affectionately dubbed nanfang xiaotudou or "little southern potatoes" due to their relatively small stature compared to people in the north.

A viral video featuring a little girl from Taiwan, who goes by the nickname "little danggui", expressing her desire to visit the popular tourist city of Harbin, has gained widespread popularity online. Netizens warmly welcomed her to come and visit.

Danggui, usually referring to the herb Angelica sinensis, can also be interpreted literally as "the one who should return".

This cute nickname has sparked discussions and a trend among people online from different regions using local characteristics to refer to themselves.

In the recent trending video, the little girl and her mother have an interesting conversation.

When the girl expresses her desire to visit Harbin, her mother tells her that she would be called "little pineapple", which is a specialty of Taiwan.

However, the girl responds: "Daddy said I am not little pineapple, but little danggui".

Chen Binhua, spokesman for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council, said no matter what they are called, children from Taiwan and the Chinese mainland are all Chinese children, and will undoubtedly be loved and warmly welcomed.

This winter, the unique charms of the ice and snow in northern China have attracted many Taiwan compatriots, especially children, he said, adding that, "we warmly welcome our friends from Taiwan to visit the Chinese mainland more often."

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