Y4 Overseas Learning Journey Xiamen Trip 2019
162 Dunmanians and 19 teachers embarked on a 6-day Overseas Learning Journey to Xiamen and Zhangzhou between 17 Oct and 23 Oct 2019.
The coastal city of Xiamen is one of the four initial Special Economic Zones of China and home to Mr Tan Kah Kee, a Chinese businessman, community leader and philantropist who was pivotal in the development of Singapore. Through the visit to Jimei School Village, Dunmanians were able to witness firsthand the impact Mr Tan had on education and the development of his hometown. A strong believer of making education accessible to everyone, Mr Tan also played a vital role in the establishment of many schools in Singapore, such as Ai Tong School and Tao Nan School, which were alma maters for a number of Dunmanians. The visit to the Tan Kah Kee Memorial Museum reminded Dunmanians of the values he exemplified as a servant leader which also resonated with our school’s mission – To nurture our students to care, to serve, to lead.
One of the highlights of the trip would be the school visits to Jimei High School and Xiamen Experimental High School. Through interaction with local students and cultural lessons such as Chinese opera and poetry, Dunmanians gained better awareness and appreciation of the differences in cultures and education systems between Singapore and China. In Jimei High School, a friendly couplet-composition competition was held between Dunmanians and the local students.
The enterprise visits to Gulong Soy Sauce Cultural Park, Ten Fu Tea Enterprise and Heng Li Watch and Clock Company provided opportunities for Dunmanians to witness how a balance can be struck between modernisation and tradition, showing that preservation of culture need not be compromised by economic growth.
Dunmanians also had the opportunity to visit various cultural heritage sites and museums such as the Laoyuanzi, Gulang Island, Nanjing Hakka Earth Buildings and the Overseas Chinese Museum. These visits gave Dunmanians an insight to the challenges and uncertainties faced by the Chinese ancestors, and enabled them to reflect on what it means to be a Singaporean Chinese in this era.
This overseas learning journey allowed the students and staff to gain fresh perspectives on Chinese culture, language and governance in China. Dunmanians were also able to think more deeply about their own national identities.
“As a SAP student, I was able to expose myself more to Chinese culture, traditions and ideologies and make sense of the similarities and differences between China and Singapore. The learning of Chinese culture allowed me to better appreciate and treasure the rich heritage. I also realised the importance of bilingualism and this trip has allowed me to apply my bilingual skills to understand the local people and their rich history better. This trip also gave me the passion and purpose to continue to use Chinese language as one of my core languages to communicate with my peers and others.” – Wong Hong Qin, Garrett (19Y4L)
“这次的学习之旅让我意识到其实身为新加坡华族的我们在某个定义上也称得上“龙的传人”，也就是中国人的后代。不过，我们虽然在长相、想法等方面和中国人有不少相同之处，但是我们最熟悉的新加坡文化和中国的文化很不一样，因此我们还是对“新加坡人”的身份有更强烈的归属感。” – 何芯仪 (19Y4L)