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Where and How Did You Spend Your Fall Semester Break?

Source:   2018-04-13 14:00:00
   International Students at Beijing Normal University were pleased to take a break from a rather exhaustive fall semester. The vacation presented unique experiences to the students who took advantage of the season. A handful of SSDPP Students left for overseas while the rest remained on campus. The major events on vacation included travelling, sightseeing, partying and perhaps sleeping, haha! Well, that was also helpful.
Some went to their home countries. It is winter in Ireland with spring approaching, one afternoon Christian walks down to the Irish Sea in Dublin. The atmosphere is calm as sunbeam attempts to penetrate heavy clouds at the far end of a mountain range. The vegetation is green blended with yellow flowers, thus creating a peaceful and comforting environment. For a couple of days, he has been with his family he met his old friends with whom he shared his experiences in China. On a few occasions, he spent some time at the seaside to rejuvenate his body and reflect on his vacation and future plans.

Christian from Luxembourg relaxing on the rock, Irish Sea, Dublin, Ireland


Whilst others were busily enjoying themselves during the break, Naeem’s style was to visit the Central Library of the University of Sindh in Pakistan.

Naeem from Pakistan, posing next to Central Library building of the University of Sindh in Pakistan


How about those that stayed on campus? International Students Office (ISO) in order to enhance the quality of life for International Students at BNU especially during the Spring Festival, delivered holiday messages and distributed gifts to students. Wondering about Spring Festival and how significant it is to the Chinese People? Well,  the CDs given out as part of ISO gifts contained BBC documentaries that provide answers to how Chinese People migrate within and
outside of China to reunite and celebrate the Spring Festival with families and friends. 

Gift bags from Beijing Normal University International Students Office 

 As part of the gift package, the International Students had a ticket to attend either a Kungfu or a music show. The Legend of Kungfu was performed live at the Red Theater in Beijing. The show made an exciting evening of real Kungfu actions and scenes that the international students usually see in movies.  The Legend of Kungfu tells the story of a young boy dropped off a temple by his mother to become a Kungfu master but the boy encountered trials and tribulations, adversaries, etc. on his journey to becoming a master. The audience was mesmerized with the illuminations, sounds and the performers that strikingly resembled the famous actors of martial arts movies that the students are familiar with in their countries of origin.

The legend of Kungfu on stage


A scene from the Legend of Kungfu on stage


Chinese folk music took place at the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. With a combination of dancing, singing and playing of musical instruments both Chinese and International Students were fully entertained. The young and the old singing traditional sweet melodies on stage created lasting impression of the rich Chinese traditions and customs. Indeed the folk music concert was meant to welcome the Chinese New Year, the year of the Dog.
Then, there was a New Year party for SSDPP international students, which was patronized by students from other schools in BNU as well. They had a great time of dancing; laughing and interacting with each other, of interest were pizza bites and competition. The night was colored in celebration and jubilation.

SSDPP International Students celebrating the Chinese New Year in Grand Style


Beside these extraordinary occasions planned by BNU and SSDPP, there were social events that International Students from SSDPP attended. Some of them went for parties including the one organized by African students in BNU. They had fun-sharing stories and experiences with others from the African continent.

Sigalla (seated) from Tanzania during the BNU African Students party


Another remarkable social event was attending a Chinese wedding. A student from SSDPP proudly joined the bridal team for a Chinese wedding in Juhe, Shangdong district, Beijing. She was intrigued when the groom found the bridal party in a special room and wanted to lead the bride out of the room but her shoes were missing; they did not leave the room until he located the missing shoes. Again, the bride was a princess unrequired of her to walk long distances even after the shoes were identified. Therefore, the groom carried her at his back for quite a distance to the wedding reception place.

Telma (right to the bride) from Zimbabwe and the Bride


Many other International Students visited numerous sites of attraction in Beijing and other provinces in China. They had the opportunity to appreciate the spectacular sceneries as well as learn more about Chinese people, culture and ancient history that has been preserved for generations in all places of attraction all over China. Tourism hotspots visited included the following: the Olympic Park, Lamar Temple, Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, National Museum, Beijing Zoo, Summer Palace, National Gallery, and other places of interest.

Lwana from Malawi behind Bird Nest, Olympic Park

Written by: Lwana ((2017 Cohort)
Edited by: Moses Ekpe (2016 Cohort)
Photos: Multiple Sources

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