Shanghai, the largest city in China, will train its first batch of certified senior tea culture performers over the upcoming three years in a bid to promote tea culture development.
According to an official with the Municipal Labor and Social Security Bureau, two training courses with 50 students each will be run each year during the three-year period.
On completion of the courses, the trainees will receive a diploma.
Trainees should have an ardent love for tea culture and be thoroughly accomplished in lyre-playing, chess, calligraphy and painting.
Statistics show Shanghai has more than 6,000 tea shops and 5,000 teahouses with a staff of 30,000. In 2001, the city's per capita tea consumption was 900 grams, 4.5 times the amount a decade ago.
News of the training courses has caught the attention of Tianshan Tea City, the largest tea market in Shanghai, and some foreign-funded enterprises, who have applied to hire the trainees.
(Xinhua News Agency November 20, 2002)