The first Global Immersion Programme to China started with a short flight from Bhubaneswar to Kolkata and dinner at the residence of Mr Ma Zhanwu, Consul General, Consulate-General of The People’s Republic of China in Kolkata, who entertained the students with stories of his childhood and historical facts about links between China and India. During dinner he even took the time to explain how to use chop sticks and gave a short demonstration. The evening ended with a heartfelt goodbye as students boarded the bus for the Airport to catch their flight from Kolkata to Kunming also known as the “City of Eternal Spring”.
Link to the post on the Website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China – about the meeting with Mr. Ma Zhanwu, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kolkata.
The students explored Yunnan Nationalities Village which is located in the southwest suburb of Kunming City, Yunnan Province. As a window displaying the various cultures and customs of 25 minorities in Yunnan, it has been honoured “Class AAAA (highest rank) Scenic Spot” of China. The group had a look at traditional ethnic-featured buildings and colourful costumes showing off the different minorities of China.
SAI students visited a UNESCO world heritage site rightly named “The Stone Forest”. It lies about 80 miles to the southeast of Kunming. A geological phenomenon, the Stone Forest was a vast expanse of sea during the Palaeozoic era–some 270 million years ago. Later, the movement of tectonic plates altered the earth’s crust, causing the sea to recede and its limestone bottom to appear, thereby forming land and a group of great sculptures of different shapes, all moulded by nature.
In the midst of the forest, there is a huge rock screen on which two words–Stone Forest–are engraved in official script. Another amazing sight is the legendary pond of Ashima. Students listened intently as our guide Saline told the tall tale about a girl who cried so much she turned to stone.
Afterward we headed to the Waxberry, Chinese Strawberries orchard and feasted on fresh berries. A quick visit followed to the Yunnan Museum and finished off our day with Indian food and presentation practice for our visit to Kunming No. 8 High School.
On the Morning of May 31 students visited the Kunming No. 8 High School which was established over 60 years ago. Students were greeted at the gate and took a quick group photograph before they ran to prepare for their presentation. The presentation went smoothly and everyone praised the students.
Next was a ESL class on life science followed by a Chinese Calligraphy class were students learned how to write the Chinese characters for China, Indian and their own name. A short painting class followed and finally students had to say goodbye and board the bus. After a quick dinner at an Indian restaurant they spent time shopping in the local shops.
The Calligraphy teacher Mr Yang even wrote the characters for SAI INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL.
The next day consisted of travelling from Kunming to Fuzhou. It was full of airports, luggage and checking in and out of hotels. The highlight of the evening was dinner were we ate very traditional Chinese cuisine native to Fuzhou. Most dishes had seafood in them including squid and vegetable soup, crawdad cooked in chillies spices and boiled vegetables, cabbage with rice noodles, and even sweet rice with coconut sauce that is culturally ceremonial. We met our new guide Nana and Mr. James from the Fujain Foreign Affairs Office who gave us a lesson on how to eat the different types of food.
GIP China team then visited Fuzhou Foreign Languages School and signed a Memorandum of Understanding between SAI International School and The Fuzhou Foreign Languages School.
Link to Fuzhou Foreign Languages School website which the visit of SAI Internatioanl School is posted. SAI Internatioanl School is the First South Asian School to sign an MOU with a School in Fujian Provence.
The MOU is a three year agreement between the schools to promote communication of international education between China and India. Terms would include staff visits to each other’s school to enhance teaching abilities at booth schools, sharing of schools educational resources, set up online classes, improve a mutual understanding of Chinese and Indian Culture and conduct short term teacher and student exchange visits to broaden their international consciousness. It was signed by Mr Yang Lihua, Vice General Secretary, FFLS, Committee of CPC and Vice Principal of Fuzhou Foreign Languages School and Mrs Jessica Patnaik, International Coordinator, SAI International School.
After which students presented a brilliant PPT about seven of the states in India and more whore traditional costumes of each state as well. They also attended classes in a chemistry and Fuzhou history classes after which they rushed to the airport to catch their flight to Beijing. After a bit of sleep on the flight the group landed and headed for dinner at an Indian Restaurant.
Shopping, Shopping and a bit of history should have been the title given as the group visited one of China’s oldest national heritage sites located in the heart of Fuzhou City “Three Lanes and Seven Alleys”. The national treasure is around 2,200 years old and home to hundreds of well known historical Chinese historical figures and heroes. The team did a lot of shopping up and down the Main Street and then went on a tour of one ancient residential home which was proceed by a 3 hour flight to Beijing.
June 4 was full of Chinese history. Students visited the infamous Tiananmen Square or “Gate of Heavenly Places” located in the heart of Beijing City. The square has a long history of uprisings and historical ideology of China’s government. The square contains the Monument to the People’s Heroes, Great Hall of People, the National Museum of China, the Mausoleum of Mao Zedong and the Chinese Parliament building on its left side. Tiananmen Square is the second larges square in the world with a total area of 109 acres. Students took group pictures and small videos explaining detailed information about the square.
The group then entered the Forbidden City that was closed to all outsiders except royalty until 1944. It was the imperial palace from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty from 1420 to 1912. It served as home for 26 emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government for almost 500 years. Students walked from the front gate to the back gate stopping for a few minutes here and there to rest as it was over 1 kilometre in distance. The tour ended with a quick visit to the imperial gardens and then out the back entrance. Shopping was the next destination; it was our last opportunity to shop in China.
Our last full day spent in China was an amazing visit to the Great Wall of China one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It was built along an East -to -West line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese States against invasions and raids. Especially famous is the wall built 220–206 BCE by Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Little of that wall remains. Since then, the Great Wall has been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced; the majority of the existing wall is from the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644). SAI students split into to two teams; one went onto the North Wall and the other the South Wall. Both groups reach the 4th tower and then returned. The view was breathtaking and spirit high when we reached the 4th tower as it was quite a hike.
SAIONEERs then had a quick lunch and headed for the Summer Palace located about a one hour drive away. The palace is beautiful and located around a lake which can be walked around using the Longest Corridor in the world and a UNESCO world heritage cultural site. It is 728 meters long with 14,000 paintings and pieces of art. Students learned a lot about Chinese ancient culture based on the 14,000 painting that adorn the roof of this amazing walk way.
The following day was again about travelling from Beijing to Kunming then Kunming to Kolkata and final Kolkata to Bhubaneswar arriving home at 8:25 am on the Morning of June 7.
What an AMAZING TRIP !!!!
谢谢 – Xièxiè – Thank you
Student Documentary about the Global Immersion Programme to China. Se what the students have to say about this amazing trip. Narrated by Rupali Mohanty of Class XII