Chinese Literature Learning Journey, China
I was one of the participants of the 2012 Chinese Literature Learning Journey to China. Through this school trip, I learnt a lot about Chinese history and Chinese culture. Also, I made many new friends during these eight days spent together. I find this trip very meaningful and enjoyable, and if possible I hope this trip will be held in the future as well.
I had never been to China before this so I was really excited that I would be visiting the country for the first time in my life. Previously, I had thought that the technology in China would be less advanced than that in Singapore. However, I realised I was quite wrong, in that Chinese technology was just as advanced as the technology we had in Singapore. I passed by many high-rise buildings when we were making our way to the different attractions, and the architecture of the buildings were quite good to me. Also, I love the night scenery in China. There are many rows of shops along roads that sell a variety of items. When the sky turns dark, all the shops switch on their exterior lighting advertising their shop or their products. The array of lights as we passed by them was very captivating. Other than exterior design, I found out that the electronic devices used were good too. There is wi-fi at almost every part of the cities, which I believe makes things very convenient for business people. In the school we visited, we were also told that teachers made use of both the blackboard and the interactive screen to teach students. I thought that the learning environment in China was very conducive. More importantly, I think China is playing its role well in conserving the environment. All the rubbish bins I saw had two categories, labeled “recyclable items” and “non-recyclable items”. In Singapore, only a few rubbish bins have different categories for different materials, so I was impressed by the infrastructure in China. Furthermore, there are actually stations at which bicycles are located, and people can use the bicycles for free to travel to nearby places. I think this is a very good idea which both promotes exercise, and reduces exhaust emissions from vehicles as well.
With regards to the places we visited in China, I must admit I learnt a lot from there. We visited the Hangzhou, Shaoxing, and Wuxi provinces throughout the eight days. At Hangzhou, we went to the Former Residence of Hu Xueyan, the Song Dynasty City, the Yue Fei Mausoleum, and many other educational attractions. With the help of the tour guide explaining to us the background of the places clearly, I learnt quite some bit about the Chinese history. Also, I really admire Hu Xueyan and Yue Fei for being capable in the civil and military field respectively. China has such a big population so I am sure it is not easy to be recognised and remembered for millenniums. They must have put in a lot of effort in fulfilling their dreams and we should put in our best in whatever we do too. The Song Dynasty Performance was really a thrill and a memorable experience. The dancers definitely have trained long and arduously to be able to put up such as excellent performance. Also, the many functions of the performance hall stunned me. It is no doubt that the Song Dynasty Performance is the third best performance in the world. Apart from attractions, we also went to a well-known university, Zhejiang University in Hangzhou to attend lectures. Our first lecture was about the typical student in China, and I realised form the lecture that Chinese students place much emphasis on their studies. However, although competition is intense, their teachers aid them a lot in managing their life. The relationship between teachers and students is very strong, and sometimes the teachers are even closer to the students than their parents. Chinese students are indeed quite different from Singaporean ones. The other lectures we had were about Chinese customs and traditional as well as modern Chinese poetry. I think the lectures were quite eye-opening and had I not attended them I would still be unsure of Chinese traditions. Although the lectures were quite long, I guess we all still managed to absorb a lot from the lecturers and not let their efforts go to waste.
In Shaoxing, we visited the Former Residence of Lu Xun, the Orchid Pavillion, and the Former Residence of Qiu Jin. The tour guide told us many stories about famous people along the way to these places and I find the stories very interesting. Famous people do have their own way of competing with others (for example by crafting poems along a river with a wine cup), and their way of enjoying life (for example by admiring gooses).
At Wuxi, we first visited Huaxi Village. It is really quite shocking that a small village can develop so rapidly and become so wealthy. However, I think that instead of investing the outputs back into the village, it would be much better if the outputs are used on helping other provinces. This is somewhat similar to the behaviour of Hu Xueyan who although earned a lot of money (more than the country’s reserves) spent all his money on building himself a gargantuan luxurious house. Development is very unequal in China, as can be seen from the difference of infrastructure in the urban and rural areas. During this trip, we have only been to the urban areas of China, but have yet to witness the other side of China. If possible, I would like to have a look at some poorer areas in China as well, and try my best to help them out.
My experience in China was a great one, because of the people who were with me throughout the eight days. Our tour guide was really a nice guy, and he explained to us patiently the origins and stories of all the places we visited. He is very knowledgeable and mainly because of him, our whole tour group has benefited greatly. Also, because our tour group is a very small one consisting of only twelve students and two teachers, we hold a strong relationship with everyone in the group. Even the teachers are close to us so we are able to enjoy ourselves fully. This trip has been a great one, and I am sure that not only I, but all my other friends have gained a lot through it.
我们踏足的第一站是杭州，当我们到达杭州时天已经黑了，黑夜里的杭州市中心灯火通明。由于我三年前也 去过杭州，所以杭州在这三年中的变化让我叹为观止。她的马路变宽敞了，城市变干净了，市中心更是多了许多高楼大厦。中国是个正在发展中的国家，杭州市这三 年里大大的变化更让我对中国经济与城市的蓬勃发展有了更深的认识。在杭州，我们出席了两天的浙江大学的讲座，在浙大听课是我们前所未有的体验，两天的讲座 过后我们都对中国的文化有了更多的认识与了解。除了在浙大听课，另一个让我映象深刻的是参观胡雪岩故居，胡雪岩是位著名的红顶商人，他是个有官位的商人， 在他的鼎盛时期他的财产比当时国库的钱还多，所谓的富可敌国不过如此。他的故居虽然已经空旷许久，可是任然可以隐约的感觉到房屋的奢华，讲解员告诉我们他 用来建这个屋子的钱套换成现在的人民币是十亿人民币。我觉得虽然他对当时国家有着一定的贡献，皇帝也嘉奖他，可是如果他把这些用来打造这么奢华的住所的钱 来救助闹饥荒的地区的话，那么他的钱可以说是更有意义的。在杭州，我们还参观了那里十分著名的宋城，夜晚的宋城灯火通明，宋城就是按照清明上河图的运河来 建造的，朦胧的夜色让我们觉得自己仿佛置身在一千五百年前的宋代。最后，我们还参观了杭州第十三中学，也在那里上了两节课，体验了中国的课堂后，我才发现 中国的学生上课十分的积极，这点是我认为新加坡学生可以学习的地方，因为在新加坡，上课时老师提问后，回答老师的是一篇的寂静，不像在中国的课堂上，老师 一提问，几乎所有的学生都积极的举手回答问题。不过，我观察到的一点是中国的学生有时太好胜了，小组之间比赛的时候他们都十分要强，当组员表现不好的时 候，他们都大声的责怪对方，这一点我认为新加坡是比较好的，因为我们会觉得尽力就好，胜负其实没那么重要，重要的是大家都学到了新的知识。
在绍兴，我们参观了一代伟大的文学家鲁迅的故居，革命烈士秋瑾故居等。在参观这些地方的同时我们可以 学到这些名人的生活背景，同时也了解到了中国那个时期的历史背景，让我们更加的了解到中国不同时期的文化色彩和历史背景。这些新的知识都丰富了我们的内涵 和素养。有的时候这些名人身上的故事也对我们有很大的启发比如说鲁迅弃医从文的故事等等。在无锡，令我最印象深刻的是华西村的游览，华西村是中国甚至全世 界最富裕的乡村。导游告诉我们华西村里有一头用纯金所打造的金牛，现在就放置在华西村的塔里。那头金牛是华西村里的一位老书记所打造的，老书记一辈子为了 华西村的繁荣而打拼，甚至把政府给他的奖金全数给了村子，他这一点让我们非常佩服。
在中国的八天之旅让我们所有人都受益良多。我们对中国的文化，风土人情，历史都有了更深一层的理解。当我们自己真正的踏入中国的社会时，我们的亲身 经历其实是课堂上所学不到的宝贵的经验。我们在浙大上课时，在景点听导游讲解时，在学习的同时我们也可以做出一定的反思，在学习前辈的教训时提醒自己不要 重蹈覆辙。中国的文化和新加坡的文化有着一定的不同，所以在踏入中国社会与当地人民交流时我们可以吸取别人可取的地方然后对自己进行改进，看到不太好的社 会现象时提醒自己不要与他们一样，这也更让我们大家懂得珍惜新加坡一些很好的特质比如交通、安全等等。总而言之，这次的中国八天文学团让大家都受益良多， 在学习的同时我们都与彼此建立了深厚的友谊，让整个行程显得更有乐趣。