A total of 20 students and 3 teachers from the Hungarian-Chinese Bilingual School began their 11-day visit to Guangdong on June 22nd. During the tour, they will take kungfu, meditation, calligraphy, painting, cooking and tea culture lessons at the Chanwu Center in Guangzhou, as well as visit schools, cultural heritage and institutions in Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Foshan.
Zhou Jijun (L2, 2nd row)?and Wang Zhenglang (R2, 2nd row) present the flag of the tour to the Hungarian students. [Photo: Monica Liu]
A launch ceremony was held at the Chanwu Center on the morning of June 24th. Zhou Jijun, Secretary General of Guangdong People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (GPAFFC), Teng Weina, Office Director of International Chan Wu Federation, and Wang Zhenglang, Director of Chanwu Center among other relevant individuals from both Guangdong and Hungary, attended the ceremony.
Zhou Jijun said the first tour was held in 2017, and was a great success and promoted mutual understanding and friendship. He hopes this year’s event will also help the Hungarian students get to know more about China’s social development and traditional culture.
The 2019 tour forms part of the International Youth Exchange Program held by GPAFFC and is scheduled to close at the Chanwu Center on July 1st.
Guests, teachers and students pose for a group photo. [Photo: Monica Liu]
Hungarian youths’ stories of China
With the fast development of bilateral cooperation in various fields under the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China and Hungary, the first European country to sign an intergovernmental cooperation agreement with China, have witnessed an increasing amount of people-to-people exchange and communication.
2019 marks the 70th anniversary of Sino-Hungarian diplomatic ties, and the recent visit to Hungary by China's top legislator Li Zhanshu has reinvigorated the traditional friendship between the two countries. During Li's three-day visit to Hungary, he spent time at the Hungarian-Chinese Bilingual School where the students are from.
Students say “thank you” to the guests with a kungfu gesture.?[Photo: Monica Liu]
Most of the 20 Hungarian students are closely connected with China. At the launch ceremony, a few students shared their China stories with Newsgd.com.
Bo Jun, a 12-year-old boy, visited Shenzhen last year and was amazed by the city’s infrastructure, the metro system particularly. By joining the tour in Guangdong, he hopes to learn more about kungfu. Bo Jun has been studying Chinese for seven years, because he believes Chinese can help him to see more of the world. He wishes to become a pilot and fly for Chinese airlines in the future.
Bo Jun [Photo: Monica Liu]
Zhao Yang, Bo Jun’s classmate, said he likes China very much. Zhao Yang came to China with his mother when he was only seven months old. He went to kindergarten in China and returned to Hungary to attend the Hungarian-Chinese Bilingual School at six, the only school offering both Hungarian and Chinese courses in Hungary. Zhao Yang said he misses China very much, and that’s why he is joining this tour to visit the country again.
Lu Qianxi was born in China and moved to Hungary with her mother when she was only three years old. Despite being far away from China, Lu works hard on her Chinese, reading Chinese books every day and has won many awards in both Chinese reading and writing competitions. Lu comes back to China to visit family every year, but this time, she wants to get a different perspective on the country.
Lu Qianxi [Photo: Monica Liu]
About the Hungarian-Chinese Bilingual School
With nearly 500 students across 11 grades, the Hungarian-Chinese Bilingual School started with only 87 students and four grades when it was established 15 years ago. Back in 2004, most of the school's students were children of Chinese expats in Hungary. But the school's makeup today is a different story: some 120 Chinese students, 30 mixed-race students and more than 10 students from other parts of Asia, with the remainder being Hungarian students.
As the only full-time public school in Central and Eastern Europe that incorporates Chinese into its curriculum alongside the local language, the school has seen increased interest in Chinese teaching from parents in Hungary. It also enjoys wide and substantial support from both country’s governments, with many Chinese leaders coming to the school during their visit to Hungary.
About the Chanwu Center
Established in 2009 and located inside the Guangdong Overseas Chinese Education and Training Institute, the Chanwu Center serves as a communication platform for traditional Chinese culture. It has organized a lot of training and cultural events over the past few years, including tours to China. To date, over 3000 trainees from more than 60 countries and regions have experienced elements of traditional Chinese culture, kungfu in particular, through the center.
Author: Monica Liu
Editor: Simon Haywood