39 intl students discover China, understand CPC in the ‘red cradle’ of Chinese revolution
Published: Jul 18, 2021 07:18 PM
Photo: Chen Xia

Andrew Trybus (right), Aryan Singh (left) with his friends at the camp in Yan'an

Yan'an, the cradle of Chinese revolution in Northwest China's Shaanxi Province, has become one of the most popular red tourism destinations in China for people who are interested in the history of the Communist Party of China (CPC). 

Some 39 students who are from 16 countries including Australia, Brazil, India, Russia, Singapore, the US, the UK, Japan, South Korea and China made a two-day trip to Yan'an. It is famous for being the place where the CPC established its main base after the Long March.

The visitors practiced yangko, a traditional Chinese dance, made dumplings and visited Chinese revolutionary memorial sites such as Yan'an Revolutionary Memorial Hall, Yangjialing Revolutionary Site, where late Chairman Mao Zedong and Party leaders lived, and Baota Mountain. They also had a chance to witness rural revitalization. 

The activity was part of a series of events for the 16th Shanghai International Youth Interactive Friendship Camp. It was organized by the Shanghai People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the Shanghai Youth Federation, and the Shaanxi Provincial People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries.

Photo: Chen Xia

Lisa (right) and her friend

Friendship beyond nations

Before coming to Yan'an, most of them knew little about this place.

After visiting the place, a 17-year-old Indian student Aryan Singh's called Yan'an pretty "good and urban, and people here are very well-disciplined." "They respect the sacrifices the Chinese martyrs made for China." 

Notably, Yan'an also has witnessed a history of many international friends dedicated to the revolution in China. Over 600 international friends visited Yan'an during the Yan'an period (1935-48), such as American journalist Edgar Snow and doctor Norman Bethune.

When he learned that there was an Indian doctor named Dwarkanath Kotnis (1910-42) (many are familiar with his Chinese name Ke Dihua) who used to work in Yan'an, Singh said he would like to do more research afterwards.

A 16-year-old American Andrew Trybus said that Yan'an has a "much better way of displaying its culture in general." Through seeing this culture, "I can understand China better," Trybus told the Global Times. "I can understand what makes it (China) strong from the cultural backgrounds to the beliefs and suffering throughout the years." 

Trybus regarded this camp as a great chance to jump out of his comfort zone to make more friends. The friendship camp is to "make connections" with people from other countries, different cultures and experiences, Trybus said. "We can get a broader experience. We can live a more open and broader mindset."

It's also 15-year-old Jaden Ng's first time coming to Yan'an. He told the Global Times that he liked it for "being quieter" compared with a metropolis such as Shanghai. "It doesn't have that many people, but it is very rich in this culture toward preserving," Ng said. Ng comes from Singapore and loves Chinese culture and is good at martial arts.

Ukrainian Lisa, 13, also echoed his opinion. Lisa told the Global Times about the environment that she "really enjoy it." "I had made the Chinese friends in this camp and they're really nice," Lisa said, noting that it's a really "nice experience" with them.

Photo: Chen Xia

Huang Xiaobo and his friend  Photos: Chen Xia/GT

Zhang Jingsen and Huang Xiaobo are two Chinese campers who both act as group leaders in charge of daily issues. In order to call his members to get up in time, Zhang played Suona, a traditional Chinese musical instrument, in front of their dormitories to make a morning call. 

"The most impressive thing for me in Yan'an is we did labor work together in the village," Zhang told the Global Times, adding that it's not easy to insist on doing it daily.

Huang echoed his opinion, as a young group leader, he said he had the responsibility to ensure each group member has a safe trip. Although he is at the same age with those boys and girls, he said "I'm a Chinese here, I should behave well" and try to help them.


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