Mozambique Confucius Institute students have “first close encounter” with China

[Source]    Confucius Institute at Eduardo Mondlane University [Time]    2016-11-04 13:25:48 

On October 13, 2016, two students from the Confucius Institute at Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique, with Letian and Dong Yan as their Chinese names respectively, flew to Beijing to participate in the viewing of the 9th Chinese Bridge Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students, beginning a two-week cultural trip in China. This is the first time that the Mozambique Confucius Institute has sent students to view the Chinese Bridge competition.

Letian climbing the Great Wall

Upon first arriving in Beijing, Letian excitedly asked his teacher, “When do we get to climb the Great Wall?” Two years ago, Letian’s father returned to Mozambique from China, and showed him a photo of what he called the “Moralha da china” (Great Wall of China), telling him that there was a saying in China, “A man is not a man until he has visited the Great Wall”. On this visit to China, he finally realized the dream he has had since then.

Enjoying roast duck

As for Chinese cuisine, Letian is very comfortable eating it, as when he was in Mozambique he often went with his family to eat at Chinese restaurants. While in Beijing he had a chance to have some roast duck, which he had been longing for for a long time, and proudly told his friends at the table that he now used chopsticks better than most Chinese people.

Letian giving a speech as a representative of the viewing troupe

When his Beijing trip was coming to an end, Letian said that he loved architecture, so he wants to study civil engineering in China, and that he planned to stay and work there.

Dong Yan and Pu Zifei’s family making dumplings together

Dong Yan and Pu Zifei practicing calligraphy

Dong Yan’s trip to “the south of the colorful clouds” (Yunnan) was full of surprises. When she first arrived in Kunming she was told that she would be spending the night at a Chinese family’s home. She was greeted by Pu Zifei, a grade 7 student from the Middle School Attached to Yunnan University. Pu Zifei, who is very energetic, and Dong Yan, who is always smiling, hit it off right away, playing the hulusi together, practicing calligraphy, and making dumplings.

Dong Yan and Pu Zifei giving each other a goodbye hug

When it was time to say goodbye, Pu Zifei gave her friend from Africa a folding fan that she had made herself. They hugged each other tightly, both unwilling to part. Their similar ages and outgoing personalities brought these two girls together through the Chinese Bridge competition, from thousands of miles apart, spanning oceans and continents, to establish a deep and close friendship.

Planting a friendship tree at Yunnan University

As the Chinese Bridge competition draws to an end, Letian and Dong Yan also prepare to wrap up their China trips. Aside from new friendships, memorable moments and unexpected surprises, the two students have also strengthened their resolve to study Chinese language and culture. Chinese Bridge allows people of different ethnic backgrounds and who speak different languages to come together in China, to grow to know China, to understand China, and to fall in love with China.

Text and photos: Duan Yiruo