On the evening of March 28, CFLC faculty members and students from the U.S., France, Russia and the Czech Republic, as well as China, held a talk on “China and the World in My Eyes”, sharing their international experiences and observations. The event was part of CFLC’s “Two Studies, One Action” campaign. The topics included “China in My Eyes”, “the World in My Eyes”, and “Chinese Characteristics and International Comparison”. The talks further increased CFLC students’ confidence in the future of the nation and helped them develop a stronger international vision.
CFLC English instructor and Fulbright scholar James Bratt, who hails from the U.S., said: “China is a place full of confidence, pride and hope, a land teeming with energy and passion.” In his witty speech, he compared the ways of living and thinking in China and the U.S. and shared his observations of “Chinese characteristics”.
French instructor Guillaume Labourdette, who has been living in China for eight years, talked about how he came to see the West’s misunderstanding of and prejudice against China, how he was impressed by the inclusiveness and harmony of Chinese society, and how he fell in love with China, a nation full of change and hope. He also expressed his appreciation for the warmth and hospitality of Chinese people. “China is the friendliest host to foreign visitors, and I’ve received a tremendous amount of hospitality from Chinese people. It’s now my turn to give something back,” he enthused.
Russian student PolinaStrukova, a third-year doctoral student from the English Department, said: “China is a fascinating country. When you go out, you can see and feel everything – the sea, beaches, sunshine, mountains, grassland, and ancient and modern elements.” She has visited more than 70 Chinese cities since coming to China 11 years ago. Fluent in Chinese, she shared her perceptions and understanding of Chinese “mianzi” (face) and “guanxi” (personal connections), as well as other aspects of Chinese culture.
CzechstudentZuzanaPavloňová, a second-year master’s student from the English Department, said that despite all the differences between her home country and China in culture, geography, diet, education, lifestyles and customs, she had been fully assimilated into China and Chinese culture. “Although I’ve gained a basic understanding of China, I feel China and Chinese culture will never cease to amaze me,” she commented.
Associate Professor Hu Yonghong from the Foreign Education Department shared his experience as the academic director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Wrocław in Poland. He said that to understand the world, there are three essential steps: first, to remain confident with Chinese culture, which will inspire us to build a brighter future; second, to remain humble and learn, so that we can make more friends around the world; and third, to adopt a critical attitude towards foreign cultures, which will help us developed a more balanced view.
Assistant Professor Zhao Xiao in the English interpreting program, who holds a PhD from the Heriot-Watt University in Britain, shared her observations and perceptions of the world in three different capacities – an international student, a teacher, and a translator for foreign affairs. She called on the students not only to develop a global vision but also to develop wisdom for identifying and solving problems. “What our nation needs are global citizens who think globally and act locally in this era of globalization,” she said.
Lie Shulin, a third-year master’s student from the French Department, summed up her impression of France in nine keywords. She said: “The culture of each nation has its own strength, which is usually the product of the nation’s history and the crystallization of its people’s wisdom. Different cultures should learn from each other and draw on each other’s merits.”
Su Tan, a fourth-year English major, shared his British study experience, which allowed him to experience the power of “cultures maintaining their unique features while interacting with each other”. He called on his fellow students to do their part in promoting Chinese cultural heritage by introducing Chinese cultural elements to foreign friends while abroad.
Speaking of the “Chinese characteristics”, CFLC Party Secretary Chen Zhiwei, who has long-term experience with the University’s international exchange and cooperation, said that, as educators, university teachers should be champions of the world’s advanced cultures. She also called on students to develop a global vision and learn from the cultures of different nations with an attitude of openness, inclusiveness and confidence.
CLFC Dean Prof. Zhang Longhai, who worked as second secretary at the Chinese consulate in Mumbai from 2007 to 2009, shared with the students his experience as a diplomat in India. Stressing that “only the wearer knows whether the shoe fits not”, he affirmed that “the path that China’s has taken in pursuit of development is entirely the choice of the Chinese people”. He also recounted an episode in which he debated the definition of “democracy” with Indian friends and elaborated on the strengths of socialism with Chinese characteristics by comparing the two countries.
The talk concluded with XMU Deputy Secretary Lin Dongwei’s speech on the guiding principles announced by CPC General-Secretary Xi Jinping at the recent National Conference on the Ideological and Political Work of Higher-education Institutions. He called on the students to sustain their confidence in the path, theory, institutions and culture of socialism with Chinese characteristics.
The event was jointly organized by the XMU Party Committee’s Publicity, Organizing and Student Affairs Departments, Communist Youth League, and CFLC Party Committee.
It’s worth noting that XMU’s first student-activity live streaming studio “We Love XMU” broadcast the talk live, receiving nearly 10,000 views.