This week my group and I presented our prototype to the supporting company of our theme project – 海宁弘光照明电器有限公司 HAINING HONGGUANG LIGHTING ELECTRIC CO.LTD. It was a relatively smooth session as we presented the features of our lamp and mobile application to a few in-charge. They especially took fancy to the security aspect of our lamp which boasts facial recognition and live streaming features but were worried about the high cost of manufacturing if they were to invest in our project due to the use of a Raspberry Pi as compared to the affordable PCB they utilize for their lighting products.

After the presentation, we were a given a tour of their manufacturing workshop which was interesting because unlike the Volvo plant that I visited a few weeks back, there was evidently less advance technology implemented in their operations as they relied mainly on manual labor to test each and every light bulbs to check if they are in pristine conditions, arrange the various the compartments in the cardboard boxes, assemble the lighting ornaments and so on.

We concluded the visit with a lunch by the company personnel and proceeded to visit the famous Liangzhu Archaeological Museum. The museum houses a collection of artefacts from the Neolithic Liangzhu Culture, which is one of the most important ancient cultures in the catchment area of the Yangtze because of its rice agriculture, elaborate handicraft industry and art achievements.  One thing that I have learnt from the visit was the huge importance of jade in that era. Jade served many purposes but were only donned by people with higher status such as those from the royal family and/or generals.

After which, we went on to visit Xiaosong Library which was part of the Liangzhu Art Centre. It was recently opened by China’s renowned musician and talk show host Gao Xiaosong to promote more reading and writing in Hangzhou. The library is clean, well-lit and boasts a collection of 50,000 books covering topics such as art, literature, history and philosophy.

The last part of the day which has got to be my favourite too, was harvesting grapes! We went to a greenhouse which was filled with rows and rows of vines overflowing with grapes! IT WAS PARADISE. The grapes were extremely sweet and it tasted almost similar to those white grape juice commercially sold, just that it was 100% natural. Another cool thing that I found out was that there was such a thing called a rose grape and it surprisingly had a distinct rose flavour! All of us harvested a whopping 700 yuan (140 SGD equivalent) worth of grapes! HAHA

All in all, it was certainly a week to remember! Not only did I get to learn more about the Chinese culture but it was also a great bonding session with my group members, teaching assistants and professor! 😊

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