Scienjoy’s “Rediscovering ICHs” Project Approaches China’s Tea Culture

Published on : 08 August 2023

In China, a tiny tea leaf is considered to encompass varying tastes, emotions and sentiments. At the end of 2022, “traditional tea processing techniques and associated social practices in China” was collectively inscribed on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. During this year’s Grain Rain period (the best window on the Chinese lunar calendar to pick spring tea in China), Scienjoy’s signature “Rediscovering Intangible Cultural Heritages” project visited Hangzhou, China’s “Tea Capital”, to explore the cultural essence of "West Lake Longjing" and "Jingshan Tea Banquet", and experience the cultural expression of tea after thousands of years of prosperity and popularity.

As invaluable assets, intangible cultural heritages (ICHs) boast important values aesthetically, historically, and culturally, and since ancient China, there have been many poems celebrating tea and the emotions and sentiments it represents, such as “I don’t need a reason to gift a bowl of tea to tea lovers” and “celebrate youth with tea, liquor and poem”. Under the poetic and picturesque tea theme, audiences are able to not only discover stories behind the ICH, but also foster deeper connections with the land that gives birth to the ICH, all enabled by livestreaming. While China is best known as the hometown of tea, Hangzhou is an important witness of the Chinese tea history, hence its reputation as China’s “Tea Capital”. Therefore, Scienjoy staged intriguing livestreaming sessions at Hangzhou’s tea gardens, tasting the fragrance of tea, exploring the fun of tea, learning the art of tea, and appreciating poems celebrating tea to fully experience China’s profound tea culture. Some streamers even acted as “spring tea ambassadors” to introduce the past and present of tea culture, so that viewers could truly discover Hangzhou as a tea capital living up to its time-honored reputation.

The creative mix of “ICH + Livestreaming + Variety Show” was the biggest highlight of Scienjoy’s tea-themed special show, which presented the show progress, show scene, and interactive features in a real-time manner. Such a kind of culture-based livestreaming experience offered a viewing pace that’s synchronized with real life, an interactive experience that’s similar to variety shows, and a strong sense of immersion, thus highly welcomed by viewers across China. One of them commented: “I really like such a kind of livestreaming show to experience tea picking through camera. Although the topic is quite casual, it has a strong sense of immersion. I enjoy the great content.”

The special show to approach China’s tea culture represents another major effort by Scienjoy’s “Rediscovering Intangible Cultural Heritages” project, through which the company celebrates high-profile cultural essence. By such means as platform activities, highlight contents, and variety shows, it fuses ICH crafts with the livestreaming scenario, thus effectively mobilizing the enthusiasm of ICH inheritors, streamers, and users for shared participation and expression, helping enliven ICH contents with strong cultural attributes, and facilitating the spread and inheritance of traditional culture. An executive from Scienjoy’s Showself livestreaming platform noted: "The vivid content, immersion and interactivity of mobile livestreaming are becoming a productive force, and we are trying to use it to create a win-win situation for ICHs, ICH crafts, platforms, and streamer agencies. Through Scienjoy’s ICH project, we hope to enable region-specific outreach, and in the future, we will visit more Chinese cities, and lead viewers to experience more unique cultures."