BSPY4 Xi’an, China
During the June holidays, the Year 4 BSP scholars, along with the teachers, went to Xi’an for an immersion programme under the Bicultural Studies Porgramme (BSP). This immersion programme aims to:
- Allow students to learn, understand and experience the culture and traditions of Xi’an
- To provide an enriching learning experience beyond the classroom, which is interdisciplinary in nature
- To experience study life in a top China university and to strengthen China studies research skills
- To provide opportunities for students to learn according to their Multiple Intelligence
- To promote leadership skills, teamwork and individual responsibility of the students
Xi’an has a rich and culturally significant history, as it was once the capitol of China in the ancient times. We have benefitted a lot from this 11-day long trip in Xi’an as we have learnt much about contemporary China as well as Xi’an.
During the trip, we visited many places of attraction, one of them being the Terracotta Army in the Qin Shi Huang Mausoleum. In the year 1974, the Terracotta Army was discovered. There are three main pits located east of the burial mound. After it was discovered, the Terracotta has been well protected and preserved. It is the biggest preserved site in China. However, despite putting in much effort in the preservation of the terracotta Army, as the terracotta sculptures have came into contact with air and water during excavation, the paint on these sculptures have been oxidized, causing the sculptures to look greyish today.
Other than the Terracotta Warriors, we also visited the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. We were awed by the sight of the ancient Buddhist pagoda, which was built during the Tang Dynasty. Even though much effort was put into the preservation of the pagoda, the structure of the building together with human activities near the pagoda had caused the pagoda to lean towards its west. Fortunately, after some renovation, the building has become more stable.
Other than visiting the tourist attractions, we also attended talks conducted by the professors in Xi’an International University. We learnt about the history of the Communist Party of China, Yan’An’s development and other popular topics about China. The most memorable lesson was the one about Renewable and green energy. Even though China is one of the world’s biggest contributors to pollution, the Chinese government has been coming up with plans to raise awareness of its people in the conservation of energy. I feel that Singaporeans should learn from the Chinese and contribute more in the conservation of energy.
On the sixth day, we took a five hour-long bus trip to Yan’an, where we visited the Huangdi Mausoleum, Yellow River Hukou Pubu National Park and Yan’an Revolutionary Memorial Museum. During the visit to the museum, we learnt about the history of the Communist Party of China and also learnt about the difficulties that Chairman Mao faced while governing China.
Last but not least, we also visited Xi’an International University and Yangling Hi-Tech Middle School and made friends with the students in the schools. Other than making new friends, we also forged stronger friendships with our fellow BSP mates.
All in all, this trip is definitely a memorable and fruitful one!