As one of his generation's best wizards, Harry Potter ended up enrolling in the prestigious Hogwarts School. For those less magically gifted, China's Hebei province now has a fallback option.
Located in the industrial city of Shijiazhuang, the Hebei Academy of Fine Arts may not have games of Quidditch, talking paintings or classes in wand-waving. But its campus does have various castle-like qualities similar to the school at the heart of J.K. Rowling's hit 'Harry Potter' series--including tall turrets and a 100-meter bell tower--that have earned it the nickname 'Asia's Hogwarts.'
The school didn't return calls for comment.
State broadcaster CCTV paid a recent visit to the campus and spoke to the principal, Zhen Zhongyi, who said that the campus's design was based merely on European Gothic architecture; that is, not intended to hew too closely to the realm of Harry Potter. The campus cost nearly 400 million yuan ($64 million), the broadcaster reported, and will enroll its first students this fall.
Like most other countries around the world, the Chinese love for the bespectacled Harry Potter is legion, and has sprouted a whole genre of fan fiction by turns amusing and strange, including 'Harry Potter and the Waterproof Pearl,' 'Harry Potter and the Porcelain Doll' and ' Harry Potter and the Chinese Overseas Students,' the last in which Chinese wizards fight Voldemort alongside Harry Potter. The book has also found an audience among Tibetan-language readers, following the efforts of one translator, who renamed the main character Harry Podder, which in Tibetan means 'brave.'
So deeply has the novel penetrated Asia that earlier this year, even a diplomatic spat between China and Japan was littered with references to Ms. Rowling's series. The incident kicked off in January, when the Japanese ambassador to the U.K. penned an article declaring that China risks playing 'the role of Voldemort' in Asia, citing concerns about Chinese movements in the East China Sea. For his part, meanwhile, the Chinese ambassador to the U.K. retorted with his own fantasy allusion, saying that the Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo--home to a number of war criminals but still regularly visited by Japanese officials, and more recently Justin Bieber--was 'a kind of horcrux, representing the darkest parts of that nation's soul.'
No word yet on how tough the competition is to get into Hebei's Hogwarts-like campus. In the meantime, Chinese Internet users are lavishing their affections on another school, one in the U.S. that's free and whose acceptance rates rival Harvard's--which, coupled with an unusual pedagogy, they see as having its own kind of magic.
作为同代人中最好的魔法师之一，哈利•波特(Harry Potter) 就读的是大名鼎鼎的霍格沃兹魔法学校(Hogwarts School)。对于那些魔法天赋不高的孩子，中国的河北省目前提供了一个备选学校。
位于工业城市石家庄的河北美术学院(Hebei Academy of Fine Arts)或许没有魁地奇球赛(Quidditch)、会说话的图画或学习使用魔杖的课程，但是它的校园里有着各种各样的城堡，与J.K.罗琳(J.K. Rowling)《哈利•波特》系列小说中的校园如出一辙，核心建筑包括高耸的塔楼和100米高的钟楼，由此赢得了亚洲霍格沃兹的称号。
和世界大多数国家一样，哈利波特在中国也有大批粉丝，他们还创作了一系列有趣古怪的粉丝作品，比如《哈利•波特与防水珍珠》(Harry Potter and the Waterproof Pearl)、《哈利•波特与瓷娃娃》(Harry Potter and the Porcelain Doll) 、《哈利•波特与中国留学生》(Harry Potter and the Chinese Overseas Students)等等，最后这本小说讲述了中国魔法师与哈利波特一同对抗伏地魔(Voldemort)的故事。这本书在西藏地区广受欢迎，源于一位译者将主人公的名字改为Harry Podder，在藏语里意为勇敢。
这些小说早已深入亚洲读者的内心，甚至今年早些时候中国和日本之间的一场外交争端中也夹杂着罗琳作品的痕迹。事件始于1月份，日本驻英国大使发表文章，对中国在东中国海（中国称东海）的举动表示担心，认为中国有成为亚洲“伏地魔”的风险。与此同时，中国驻英国大使反驳了上述言论，他表示，东京的靖国神社(Yasukuni Shrine)是藏匿日本这个国家灵魂最黑暗部分的魂器。靖国神社供奉着日本许多战犯，但日本官员仍定期参拜，最近贾斯汀•比伯(Justin Bieber)也前往参观。