"China in My Eyes"--- Episode 3
2020/03/18
 

Since the publication of the prize-winning works of the Essay Contest on the theme of "China in My Eyes" , it has won likes and praises amongst many netizens. Thank you for your attention ...

Mr. Baguoban, who fell in love with China on his first visit there, would like to talk about his trip to China. Come on, let's read his story now!

 

My Trip to China

By Suraj Gulshan Bhagoban

 

China, a land of beauty and fascination, tempts adventurous travellers all over the world. China also is a massive country, with enchanting natural landscape, brilliant history and culture. China is a rapidly changing country whereby old customs and habits hang on as modern skyscrapers go up every second.

In 2018, I got the opportunity to attend a seminar "Excellent teachers training for developing countries 2018" in China. I had no idea what to expect before my first visit to the mainland of China. But little did I know that my china trip would turn out to be a game changer in my life. After a long voyage, we were deadly tired on arriving at the airport. It was almost 2 am in the morning but the Chinese people showed us the first glimpse of the legendary Chinese hospitality.

The seminar delved heavily on the continuous basic education success in china and that was very much relevant to us as the Mauritian education sector has just chosen the same path and China offering us their expertise was a real blessing. In my eyes China is all about discipline, perseverance and amazing hospitality. China has undergone a tremendous change in terms of public infrastructure: unending roads, skyscrapers, huge shopping malls, big universities, state of the art hospital etc. However what strikes me most is that the Chinese people have not lost their identities; generation after generation, the Chinese people has stayed humble, honest and very hospitable. We were really mesmerized by the schools we visited whereby we found pupils displaying high level of discipline but yet wearing an everlasting smile on their lips. Both pupils and the staff were so keen to meet us, talk to us and to show us how the basic education in China has been a significant success all over. We were so delighted to discover among others how special chess class was included in the time table in a view to develop children's intelligence. That triggers a thought in my mind and I can mention here that since my return to Mauritius I have introduced this game to my pupils as well.

It was an amazing experience to soak up in the day to day life in china. We also got the opportunity to practice the Chinese language. Wherever we went for visit, whether it's a school, an old village model or a restaurant or shopping, we were always greeted with a genuine smile. China in my eyes is also about its generosity to share with other countries its expertise. During the closing ceremony, in my speech as the group leader, I mentioned that China is not only big in size but has a much bigger heart to bring all developing and less developed countries under one umbrella and sharing with them China's success and expertise in various fields. There is no other country in the world that is actually sponsoring so many training sessions for so many countries. All in my entire China trip will really stick with me for the rest of my life. I met so many new friends that, some day; I really hope to see again. My China trip was eye opening and inspiring as it gave me a new perspective on our life that I will constantly use to make my country a better place.

China in my eyes is also about a dynamic new generation working their way towards their careers, a dynamic thriving economy, a dynamic elder generation living a happy life and cherishing their worthy efforts they made to contribute to what China is today. Seeing elderly ladies dancing in group in the evening to maintain health and harmony was just outstanding.

China for me is also about a culinary extravaganza. As it turns out, eating in China was one of the best food experiences I've enjoyed in a long time. Walking through a popular market area, I tried as much as possible and what I didn't try, I attempted to learn as much about as I could. It was all delicious from small pork buns to spicy potatoes and delicious sticky rice with pineapple dish that I still think about. Eating in China was a highlight of my time in the country.

China is famous for its hospitality. Simple kindnesses, like the stranger who helped me figure out how much something cost, to the new friends I made in Jinhua who took the time to teach me the proper way to eat a hot pot dinner – they were all amazingly generous with their time. While at times there was a language barrier, that wasn't a major impediment and instead everyone tried their best to help me in any way possible. The people I met along the way became a key aspect of my China experience and without them, the trip would not have been the success that it was.

China in my eyes is also about those little things that you can experience only by immersing in the daily life of the Chinese. One such thing is when I discover how to count up to 10 using only one hand. The first time I saw this, I was in a store and the shopkeeper was telling me the price was 10 yuan, indicating it with forefinger and middle fingers crossed. I saw this several times before I realized they were telling me the price.

My perception about Chinese culture and history went on a whole new level when we had the opportunity to visit an old preserved village model in Hangzhou. We got the opportunity to explore the local life and traditions. The walk along the alleys and the visit to a local house gave me a memorable glimpse of the traditional way of living and the sense of pride Chinese people carry for their cultural heritage. I felt that the village represents a long period of history and it has become the living encyclopedia of the city that everyone deeply cherishes.

During my personal interactions with many students from the Zhejiang University I learned first-hand that they deeply value integrity, loyalty, and hard work. Chinese students emphasized that the image you built for yourself throughout the years ultimately defines your future career development and success. Such observations were confirmed by lecturers and professors who also believed that honesty is one of the virtues greatly valued by the Chinese people. Many local businessmen run their business on the principle of honesty and hard work in order to establish their brand. Thus, learning to understand and appreciate local values becomes imperative for conducting a successful business with China.

China in my eyes would be a country with a deep struggling past but which has remarkably transformed itself into a powerhouse in all aspects including economy, business, education, defense, health among others. Despite its outstanding economic growth in the past decades, the Chinese people have stayed humble and deeply rooted in their traditional culture whereby parents and teachers are still revered and respected.  China in my eyes is that country whereby efforts and discipline is the order of the day and without the latter China would not have been able to make such progress. My trip to China has stripped away all the prejudices and stereotypes which I carried about the real life in China and has given me the opportunity to learn more deeply the real China.

 

* Mr. Suraj Gulshan Bhagoban is now working in the Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology of Mauritius

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