BEIJING, Feb.8 (Xinhua) -- To air a scholarly program during a festive season might mean a risk in audience rating, but the Chinese Poetry Conference, aired a day following the Spring Festival, has proved otherwise.
The second season of the China Central Television (CCTV) program, a competition of poetry recitation, comprehension and appreciation, became a lunar new year hit right after it was aired on Jan. 29. With a rating that topped one percent, the program grabbed a market share of nearly 16 percent when it ended Tuesday night, leading all prime time broadcastings, including hot soap operas, according to media reports.
The champion, Wu Yishu, a 16-year-old high school student, also shot to stardom for her outstanding performance in the final of the competition. She has become an icon of many high school students and other young people, who say that Wu has inspired their passion for the ancient literary form.
More than 100 competitors participated in the show. Among them, the youngest one ages only seven years old. The competition has also attracted foreign fans of Chinese poetry.
A foreign student at the show. (Web Pic)
Wu is from the High School of Fudan University in Shanghai. She adores classic poetry, Chinese traditional costume Hanfu and she always carries along a poem collection of Su Shi, a famous poet in the Song Dynasty (960-1279). It is estimated that the girl can recite more than 2,000 poems.
Wu Yishu at the competition. (Web pic)
"I wish my daughter will, like Wu, present to the world the self-confidence of our great culture in the future," a web user with the username of "shudonglidexingxing" wrote on WeChat, a leading social networking service in China.
Another WeChat user "Fangzhanbo" said that the beauty of both Chinese culture and the girl champion is "glamorous and luminous."
Some netizens said that in a society where poetry has been widely assumed to be marginalized to the point of death, Wu's sudden fame, together with the popularity of the program, may bring hope to such cultural treasures.
However, Meng Man, one of the four experts commenting in the TV program, said that the affection to poetry has been buried in people's heart while the popularity of the show helps reignite their passion.
"Just as the seed buried under the ground can sprout because of a drop of water or a wisp of wind," said Meng.