A university in China that made headlines last year for looking like a scene straight out of a Harry Potter film held a Confucian-themed graduation ceremony this week for its first crop of bachelor degree students.
Images of the Hebei Academy Of Fine Arts went viral online last year after some noted that the campus bears more than a passing resemblance to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, as featured in the films. While some were awed by the architecture, with its gigantic grey towers, stone walls and turrets, others accused the school of copying.
The college head, Zhen Zhongyi, invested 1.7 billion yuan in the academy. He told AFP that the castle-like buildings helped make the school known around the world, adding that the aim was to allow students to appreciate Western architecture without leaving the country.
Students witnessed the gradual development of the school buildings as the campus became more ornate year after year. “Obviously I’m very proud of that,” said new graduate Wang Xiaotian.
At the traditional Chinese graduation ceremony held on Tuesday, Wang and more than 1,000 others dressed in flowing white gowns outside a red-beamed temple on the campus dedicated to ancient sage Confucius.
A college official patted each student with a white brush before they bowed in front of headmaster Zhen, who wore a black gown.
In recent years, ceremonies inspired by Confucian tradition and Chinese “Hanfu” gowns with gaping sleeves have become increasingly popular in China.
[Images via Yahoo News, QQ News, News China & Oriental Daily]
By Joyce Ng