As part of our documentary Whose China? we have created a blog in which young adults from across the globe talk about their experience while traveling across northern China. Read Zain’s point of view bellow, and if you want to check out other student’s adventures visit the website
China, and my encounters there, continue and will continue to have a significant impact on my life. Between observing first hand and with full force Chinese culture, language and society and meeting and living with students from all over the world China YLC was an invaluable experience.
Days spent exploring Guyuan and nights at the night market remain fond memories and compelling invitations to return to China, which I certainly intend to do. Beyond the exposure to Chinese culture and people, the other students made the trip even more important. I was able to make friends with people for whom I have a great deal of respect. The friendships were incredibly strong considering the amount of time spent together, I suppose being thrown into a world vastly different from our own has that effect.
perhaps my most memorable experience was speaking with my host family (in broken, broken Chinese) and being able to get my questions across and learning about their lives first hand was remarkable. I also had the added dimension of sharing religion with the people of the village. I was amazed to see how similar their practices were to those of the rest of the Muslim world considering how isolated China has been from it. I would like to add that the food in Guyan=Fei chang hao!
My trip to China has also become a major talking point with new people I meet at university, people are very curious about China and how a foreigner views it after having been there. I consistently tell them, don’t bother learning french (sorry Constance) China will be the next superpower!
I sometimes feel nostalgic about our experience and hope we can one day return and continue our journey.
Hope everyone is doing well!