Journey to learn our motherland
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We were chosen as Hong Kong representatives for the 9th China Synergy Programme for Outstanding Youth and took part in a series of exploration and exchange activities and an origin-seeking journey, from 1 to 17 July.
Together with 212 outstanding ethnic Chinese students from 18 countries and regions, we embarked on a journey from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, Xian, Beijing, Tianjin and Shanghai to learn more about our motherland and its culture. The fantastic 17-day tour changed our old perception of China and gave us incredible insights into the technological and socio-economic development of the country.
One of the programme's primary objectives was for participants to find out more about China's history and culture. We have therefore visited different historical and cultural sites, including the Great Wall, Emperor Qin's Terracotta Warriors and Horses Museum and the Palace Museum.
We also visited primary schools in Yangling District in Xian to experience the rural life. In the village, we played games with the children and taught them English. The experience with children revealed to us the importance of education in China, and invoked a desire to contribute to our motherland's development.
The most memorial moment of the journey was on 11 July, when we met Mr Jia Qinglin, Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, in the Great Hall of the People. We were touched and inspired by Mr Jia's warm welcome speech. He reviewed the latest news about the Sichuan earthquake reconstruction work and the challenges of the Beijing Olympic Games. He also encouraged us to inherit and pass on Chinese traditions and support the motherland's development.
Seminars by prominent leaders and government officials were also organised during the journey, enabling us to learn more about our country's modernisation and globalisation strategies. Afterwards, we took part in discussions on China's development.
In addition, we were selected to help organise the welcoming party, closing ceremony and delegates' registration in Hong Kong. With the guidance of project coordinators who had previously participated in the China Synergy Programme and are now young professionals, we learnt ways of dealing with culture shock and embellished our interpersonal skills.
We were so excited to mix with outstanding overseas youths from prestigious universities, such as University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and Columbia University. Our horizons were broadened and true friendships developed. We had never met such a disparate group of individuals, with contrasting backgrounds and personalities. Lifelong friendships will not fade as we maintain close contact on the internet.
Last but not least, we would like to offer our deepest thanks to City University of Hong Kong, the programme Organising Committee and all the donors for making such a special, memorable and unique summer. We are proud of being Chinese and will always be a supporter of the motherland's development.