China college

My Beautiful Encounter with China, as Told by International Students from "Belt and Road" Countries

‌In order to promote people to people and cultural exchanges among the youth of different countries and enhance foreign students' deep understanding of China's development and changes, the Overseas Study Service Center of the Ministry of Education of China (CSCSE) took the opportunity of the tenth anniversary of the "the Belt and Road" initiative to hold the seventh "My Beautiful Encounter with China" overseas students essay contest. Many overseas students from countries jointly building the "the Belt and Road" tell vivid Chinese stories in fluent Chinese, and share their witness, experience and feelings about China's economic and social development, rural revitalization, scientific and technological innovation, traditional culture and other changes and achievements. This newspaper selects some essays to take a look at their perception of China and listen to their experiences and insights in studying, living, and working in China.


Speak well about the beautiful China I see

Peking University Zhou Kaibi [Bangladesh]

It has been a full 13 years since I first set foot on the land of China. At that time, I was like a willow leaf drifting into a lotus pond after leaving a big tree, coming here with curiosity about the clear waters of China and a longing for my future studies.

When I first arrived in China, I chose Beijing. This is the capital of China, with a long history and rich culture. I have spent my undergraduate and doctoral studies here. I met a group of lovely friends who took me to explore this city and country, and also allowed me to experience the unique charm of traditional Chinese culture.

Beijing Opera is a type of traditional Chinese opera with a history of over 200 years. The characters in the drama depict heroic figures from ancient Chinese history and legends, accompanied by specialized music and props. It helps audiences better understand Chinese culture and history by shaping ancient Chinese society and characters.

When I first arrived in China, my new friends took me to the unique alleys of "Old Beijing". The surrounding environment made me unconsciously slow down, while the courtyard houses and winding streets kept me away from the hustle and bustle and my heart calm. The bricks and tiles in the alley fascinate me.

I still remember that there was a craftsman who focused on Paper Cuttings in the Hutong. I experienced and learned Paper Cuttings here. Holding a piece of red paper in my hand, heavy and heavy, I felt the national culture and emotions carried on it.

In the suburban courtyard, I met a calligrapher and painter who lived comfortably in the fields and his quaint courtyard.

The calligrapher and painter rises with the sun and rests with the stars every day. The brush in his hand records the ordinary rural scenery, and I also learn from his appearance by picking up the brush to draw. Although my work may not look good, I have learned about brush, ink, paper, and inkstone.

In these years in China, I have not only been impressed by these ancient cultures that have spanned thousands of years, but also amazed by China's rapid development and advanced technology.

From my undergraduate studies at Capital Medical University to pursuing a doctoral degree at Peking University, this period has allowed me to learn cutting-edge medical knowledge and technology from around the world. Carbon ion therapy technology brings hope to patients with malignant tumors, liver cell transplantation brings more possibilities to the lives of liver disease patients, artificial intelligence medical assisted diagnosis makes the formulation of diagnosis and treatment plans faster, and the medical process more efficient.

In recent years, I have often organized Chinese students and classmates from Bangladesh to exchange their cultures, ideas, etc., which has improved our Chinese proficiency and deepened our understanding of China. In 2021 and 2022, as a judge for the Bangladesh region, I participated in the 20th and 21st Chinese Bridge World College Chinese Competition, experiencing the fascination and longing of college students from all over the world for Chinese culture.

In 2020, I participated in the International Medical Assistance Action. I am spreading advanced medical technology and concepts in assisted countries, and while helping other countries, I am also making every effort to convey the voice of China and make the world full of lotus fragrance.

I want to find more opportunities to tell the world about the beautiful China I see.

I deeply love the land where I am located

Fu Zhiying from Zhejiang University [Malaysia]

At Zhejiang University, there is a well-known saying that both teachers and students are familiar with, which is "As bright as the stars of Zhejiang adults.". As a student studying abroad at Zhejiang University, I often wonder: what should I do to be considered as "shining like a star"? The question has been lingering in my mind.

At the beginning of this year, I came to the ancient Miao village located in the mountains of Zhangjiajie, Hunan. Before entering the living area, the commentator Ah Jie stayed at the bulletin board of the village to tell us the stories of these Miao people. We have learned that this area was originally a deeply impoverished area, but in the past 10 years, with the support of national policies and the efforts of local residents to overcome difficulties, the development strategy of "promoting their hematopoiesis and preserving their essence" has promoted the survival and development of local people, and systematically developed their silver forging and tourism industries, thus achieving poverty alleviation.

We walked along the quiet path of the village and saw an elderly man and his disciple drawing wire for silverware by the fireplace. It seems that we have become accustomed to the arrival of tourists, and our gaze has not caused them to pause for a moment. The movements on our hands are still clean and neat. Deep inside the village, there are more elderly people wearing ethnic costumes and silver jewelry selling specialty products such as tea and kudzu outside.

We walked into a narrow wooden house and chatted with the old lady there. In order to improve their living standards, most of the middle-aged men in the village work outside, and the same goes for the brother of the commentator. The Grandma family makes a living by buying and selling tea, and the tea plantation is located on a mountain not far from the village. Before leaving, I bought a silver ring with a leaf shaped design, symbolizing "smooth sailing" in the Miao ethnic group. With the blessings of these Miao people and this unforgettable memory, I returned to Hangzhou.

When collecting preliminary materials for my graduation thesis, I learned about Huang Wenxiu's story through the theme of poverty alleviation. This master's student from Beijing Normal University resolutely gave up the opportunity to work in the city after graduation and returned to her hometown of Baini Village, a small mountain village in Baise, Guangxi to serve as the first secretary stationed in the village. With her arduous efforts, the poverty incidence rate in the village has decreased significantly in just one year, and the benefits of collective economic projects in the village have also greatly increased. With such determination, she still cared about the safety of the village before misfortune struck, and fulfilled her mission to the end of her life. This touching story made me, as an international student, start to search for what I can do for this city and this land.

So, I signed up to participate in the volunteer project for the Asian Games, wrote stories about the inheritance of Miao villages and uploaded them to my personal social media page, paid close attention to the people around me who needed help, and was ready to lend a helping hand at any time. I also considered making financial development in poverty-stricken areas the research topic of my graduation thesis. I constantly urge myself, as a college student, to always remember the responsibilities and obligations bestowed upon us by the times. In learning, we should uphold the mentality of "having already recognized the vastness of the world, yet still cherishing the greenery of plants and trees". Before embarking on grand narratives, we should first focus on the small things within our capabilities.

As a result, the question that has troubled me for years has finally come to a tangible answer: as a college student, besides climbing upwards, we must also take root downwards, not only forge ahead and benefit the public with what we have learned, but also deeply love the land and people here. This is the reflection that arose from my study abroad in China, the study answer sheet I submitted in addition to my professional knowledge, and the path I took towards becoming a shining star.

Dance in China, My Path to Beauty

Xi'an University of Electronic Science and Technology Aijie [Turkmenistan]

When I first arrived in China, I was a person who was not good at expressing myself and lacked confidence, but a lesson in China completely changed me.

I remember it was the winter of 2020, and the teacher specially arranged a practical class on Chinese dance culture. In class, the teacher showed us ancient Chinese dance, and we saw her graceful and graceful movements. She said, "The beauty of a woman's dance is like a lotus spiral, which the eyes of the world may not see." Her graceful figure amazed and intoxicated me, and I still remember her deeply today.

I was shocked by the graceful and dancing female images displayed in the millennium painting by the teacher. I can't believe that Chinese women over 1000 years ago were so fashionable and confident. They are reserved, not sharp, gentle and resilient, which aroused my interest and longing for Tang Dynasty culture as a woman, and gave rise to the idea of learning Chinese dance.

The teacher seems to have discovered my "little secret". She carefully choreographed dances for us and encouraged us to learn the Tang Dynasty music and dance "Banquet in Qingdu". I am the first to practice my movements in the dance classroom every day. Although my body is stiff and my coordination is not good, the teacher still patiently helps me adjust my movements. In order to help us break free from the charm, the teachers also took us to visit the Shaanxi History Museum, helping us understand the culture and history behind dance. I was also selected as the team captain to help each team member practice dancing and standardize their movements.

On a night in June 2021, it was the day we officially performed in the Tang Dynasty Never Night City, and it was also my most unforgettable day. Under the gaze of hundreds and thousands of Chinese audiences, I mustered the courage to lead the team of international students to successfully complete the dance performance. When the audience greeted us with enthusiastic applause and cheers, we shed tears of excitement and felt a sense of pride and achievement in our hearts. I didn't expect that as a foreigner, I could also become a disseminator of traditional Chinese culture, showcasing my beauty on stage and showcasing foreigners' understanding of Chinese culture. This persistence has also strengthened my determination to learn Chinese well and deepened my love for Chinese culture.

The Chinese teacher once said in class, "Each is beautiful, beautiful and common." At first, I didn't quite understand what the teacher meant by "beauty", how I could feel it, and what my "beauty" was like. Through my understanding and personal experience of Chinese dance culture, I have realized that Chinese culture is born towards beauty.

Dance conveys people's longing for beauty and is the inheritance and extension of Chinese culture. In The Journey of a Legendary Landscape Painting, I saw that Chinese people yearn for the beauty of nature; In "Tang Palace Banquet", I feel the yearning for the beauty of the people and culture of the prosperous Tang Dynasty; In "Man Ting Fang: National Colors", I realized that behind the aesthetics of Chinese color lies the yearning for harmonious coexistence between "heaven and earth coexisting with me, and all things being one with me". Chinese dance, whether in clothing, movements, demeanor, or music, showcases the unique charm of being as graceful as a startled swan and as graceful as a wandering dragon. It also allows me to feel the profound connotations of Chinese aesthetics and culture. "Dancing to the fullest", even the most common and simple round drawing movement in Chinese dance, reflects the Chinese people's yearning for harmony and perfection.

This year, I led a dance team of international students to perform the Tang Dynasty palace music and dance "Nishang Feathered Clothes Dance" on behalf of the school. Through hard work, I have also become a lecturer at the Shaanxi History Museum, explaining Chinese cultural relics and historical stories to international students, and spreading Chinese culture.

I hope to join hands with young people from all over the world through my own actions, become an ambassador for cultural exchange and dissemination, help promote people to people communication, and achieve "beauty and harmony, world harmony".

A decade leading to hope

Chen Peiyu from Harbin Engineering University [Thailand]

The development of a country is like the growth of a person. Since the founding of the People's Republic of China 74 years ago, if one lives, it is like an old grandfather. But in my impression, today's China is not a heavy footed grandfather, but a flourishing "new era, new youth".

As a member of the global village and a close neighbor of China, Thailand has changed step by step since the implementation of the "the Belt and Road" initiative. For example, more large enterprises from China have injected fresh vitality into the Thai economy with advanced technology and capital; More scientific research institutions have emerged, giving students a clear direction for their efforts; More employment opportunities and common trade opportunities provide ordinary people with development space and ways to become rich.

I have had the dream of studying abroad in China since 2015. On the journey of pursuing my dreams, I met many people and made many friends. China's "the Belt and Road" initiative has built more bridges between China and the world, allowing the world to approach China in a convenient way, explore its magic and discover its greatness. In 2019, my dream came true and I was honored to become an international student majoring in Chinese Language and Literature at Harbin Engineering University by applying for a scholarship. During my years in China, I have experienced the convenience and comfort that China's development has brought to people in my daily studies and life. At the same time, I have also explored the integration of this ancient civilization into modernization, marveling at the magic and vastness of Chinese civilization.

Firstly, let's talk about the performing arts of Quyi. Chinese Quyi performances are not exclusive to the elderly. More and more young people, including foreigners, are attracted to Quyi performances. I can also loudly say that I am a "Deyun girl". By watching the performances of cross talk performers from Deyun Society, I have made great progress in my Chinese language. Not only have I been exposed to cross talk, but I have also learned about traditional performances such as Peking Opera and Jingyun drums. Many popular music nowadays incorporates elements of Peking Opera (opera style), such as songs like "Chiling". I think this is a good promotional method to make more people aware of Peking Opera.

There are also traditional clothing and traditional architecture. Nowadays, there are videos of cross dressing and taking photos of ancient costumes on many platforms. It is common to see people wearing traditional clothing on the streets, and I hope Thailand will do the same. If the dignified and elegant charm of ancient clothing is completely replaced by modern attire, wouldn't it be a lack of inheritance of the beauty of traditional clothing? In the first semester of my junior year, I studied an article called "Hutong Culture", which was written by Mr. Wang Zengqi. This article expressed the author's nostalgia and reluctance towards the hutong.

These are several aspects that I have personally experienced. The reason why I say China is now a "new era, new youth" is because I am also a youth. I want to learn from China, open up new ideas, constantly work hard, constantly develop myself, and bravely move towards a better future.

This year coincides with the tenth anniversary of the "the Belt and Road" initiative. We are grateful that this decision has opened up a new world for us. We are grateful that when we look back at this intersection, we have taken every step without regret. The decade of the "the Belt and Road" is a decade of hope, a decade of greater harmony and prosperity for a community with a shared future for mankind. We hope to further promote modern civilization and traditional ideas in the next decade, so that they will remain fresh and enduring. Let's look forward to it together!

Holding hands on the Great Wall of China, a lifelong commitment

Ji Yonghua from Changjiang University [Colombia]

I come from faraway South America, but I want to tell you that my fianc é - also from Colombia, Gisenyong, and I have been holding hands on the Great Wall of China for a lifetime.

This romantic and dreamy plot happens to us. The 12-year-old girl saw Beijing in the movie and saw the winding Great Wall like a giant dragon, but she never expected that in a few years, two young people who were deeply in love would cross the mountains and seas and head to the other end of the earth - China.

Our story starts a few years ago when we met in Colombia. One day in 2019, he looked at me very seriously and said he was going to Yangtze University in China to pursue a master's degree. I knew his dream was to become a plant genetics and breeding scientist, and the Chinese professor he wanted to learn from was at that university. This is undoubtedly a long-distance adventure of separation. "Do you know that China has the best agronomist, I must go." His eyes sparkled.

After going to China, we were separated by thousands of miles with a 13 hour time difference, but he would share his observations with me every day. We discussed the different languages, food, and transportation between China and Colombia over the phone; He said he was warmly welcomed at the laboratory of Changjiang University, officially joined his mentor's research team, and began publishing papers in international academic journals... The longing grew stronger, and we in love increasingly recognized each other as the partner we were looking for.

Finally, he gently and firmly told me, "Dear, come to China, we want to be together.". "Okay, I promise you." The confession of love did not hesitate or hesitate. My lover's words moved my heart, while China made me and my family feel at ease.

Love gives each other confidence and confidence. Like all couples, overcoming various difficulties and striving for love is the greatest sincerity and courage. In September 2022, I finally came to his side and pursued a master's degree in chemistry at the same university. So, we have a warm little home and everyone's blessings.

We took "Ji" as our common Chinese surname, looked it up in the dictionary, and asked the teacher. They all said that "Ji" has a good meaning and is auspicious and happy. Changjiang University witnesses our love, and now we study and live together every day, burying ourselves in our respective laboratories and helping each other. Not long ago, he gave an academic speech on the important role and contribution of Yuan Longping in solving the food crisis at the graduate forum of the school. I listened to it from the audience and applauded for him. This once naive young man, studying hard with Chinese professors at school, has now taken on a somewhat young scientist like appearance. In our free time, we stroll around the ancient city, dance in the square, and embrace each other by the Yangtze River. He took a lot of photos for me, saying that when we get old, recalling this incredible love will still be sweet on our faces.

This is the story of our encounter with China. Perhaps it is just a wave among many warm stories, but for us, making the decision to stay together for a lifetime in China is a deep and romantic journey across mountains and rivers. Love blooms in China, giving us the greatest strength and achieving the best of us.

Sing out loud and sing you to the world

Guizhou Medical University Lebar [Pakistan]

In 2019, I opened the prelude to my study abroad life in China. I can't wait to travel to every corner of you, understand every aspect of you, four years have passed in a blink of an eye.

In China, I have truly experienced the prosperity of the people, the prosperity of the country, and the flourishing of culture, education, and other aspects. I have also experienced a beautiful, peaceful, safe, and comfortable life. I have sighed countless times, how lucky I was when I chose to study in China! I want to sing loudly, using profound and touching words, setting a cheerful and passionate tone, and composing beautiful and melodious songs, to sing you to the world.

Sing the pastoral symphony and feel the beauty of rural revitalization. I enjoy experiencing new things, traveling to different places, and experiencing different humanistic and regional cultures. I have visited many places such as Hengyang, Changsha, Guangzhou, and Kunming, each with its own unique features. But my feelings for Guizhou are particularly special. This is the province where I have lived for more than 3 years, and Guiyang is like my hometown in China.

If you want to experience the beauty of rural revitalization in China, the rural areas of Guizhou can definitely be considered a beautiful business card. I visited villages in Guizhou, such as Huamao Village, Haohuahong Village, and Qilei Village, all of which made me feel the vitality and charm of Chinese countryside. When I breathe fresh air, walk on small fields or clean village roads, see neat houses and convenient living facilities, and see villagers with smiles on their faces, my inner sense of stability and happiness arises.

Sing the song of win-win cooperation and bathe in the spring breeze of the "the Belt and Road". In June of this year, I had the privilege of participating in the "Encountering Chinese Countryside and Beautiful Guizhou Tour" social practice activity organized by the China Ministry of Education's Study Abroad Service Center. The teacher led 40 international students to visit the Baling River Bridge and Pingtang Bridge in Guizhou Province, which are known as the "World Bridge Museum". They span deep valleys and have a grand momentum; Visited the "Chinese Eye".

China's remarkable achievements in infrastructure and rapid technological advancements are commendable. What is even more commendable is that China "helps the world at the same time" and has put forward the "the Belt and Road" initiative to share China's plans and contribute China's wisdom and strength to the world. Many countries along the Belt and Road, including Pakistan, are bathing in the spring breeze of the "the Belt and Road" initiative and have made many achievements in infrastructure construction, economic development, cultural exchanges and other aspects. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor has benefited the Pakistani people, providing more opportunities for entrepreneurship and employment, and effectively improving their livelihoods.

Sing the song of peaceful development and appreciate the concept of "shared destiny for mankind". In the Chinese language class, through the teacher's explanation, I learned about the ideas of the mean, great harmony, and harmony in Chinese character writing, and also gained a better understanding of the concept of building a community with a shared future for mankind. As young people of the world, we should let the ideas of seeking common ground while reserving differences, openness and inclusiveness, and mutual learning among civilizations shine brightly on the world stage. At the same time, I also hope to make contributions to promoting international medical cooperation and building a global community of public health and health in the near future, with the sacred mission of "health is related, life is entrusted", and I have learned and applied what I have learned.

This is a country that carries a long history and brilliant civilization, with warm and friendly people, picturesque scenery, convenient infrastructure, advanced modern technology, impressive development speed, and an open and inclusive, diverse coexistence, and peaceful development pattern. In the future, I want to continue writing my stories with you, creating them into catchy songs to sing to my family and friends, to the people of Pakistan, and to the people of the world!