Unfortunately I have not done a post in quite a long while. I hope to make up with posts for all the wonderful activities I have not yet detailed in the coming days. There are only 7 days left of the school term, concluding what has felt like a very fast paced three months!
Anyway, as per the title, here is a reflection of my China Week (I aplogise for the formality, it was an official CAS Reflection):
China Week at Li Po Chun United World College is a week designed for students to experience Chinese culture through various activities such as service, sightseeing and food. Originally, my China week group was supposed to travel to Nanning in China. However, due to unfortunate circumstances, we could not travel and joined another trip entitled “Chinese culture in Hong Kong.” The first obstacle I faced was therefore dealing with the disappointment that I would not be travelling to mainland China but would instead be staying in Hong Kong. However, I was encouraged when one of the teachers explained to me and my group that if we wanted to enjoy our week, we would have to hold our heads up high and give the new trip a fair chance. In this way we were able to enjoy our China Week and gain a more valuable learning experience.
On the first day of the China Week, I felt myself being pushed out of my comfort zone as my group had lunch at a Chinese restaurant. I struggled with using chopsticks and eating foods I had never eaten before. Although I am proud that I tried some new foods, one criticism of myself is that I resorted to using a fork instead of continuing to try to eat with the chopsticks. However, later in the week, as I challenged myself, I would discover that eating with chopsticks is a skill that I can develop as long as I continue to practice. In this way, I was able to recognise that sometimes I need to challenge myself more.
On the second day, we learnt about Chinese gardening and visited a Chinese garden. I was surprised by the fact that nearly every aspect of a garden such as flowers, stones and water have a symbolic meaning. By visiting an actual Chinese garden, I feel that I was able to actually connect with and understand this aspect of the Chinese culture.
The third day was particularly memorable because of a visit to the Hong Kong Baptist University where we received a talk about Chinese medicine. This talk made me think about many things such as my own country’s traditional medicine and why many people, including myself, resort to Western medicine as the only “working” medicine. Therefore, this day was important not only because it was informative but also because it provoked my thoughts about an issue I had not previously really thought about.
On day five, we had a student exchange program at a local school in Hong Kong. To prepare for this day, I had to work with my peers to create and present a power point presentation about each of our countries (each student created one slide only.) I also had to practice a dance as part of our cultural performance and even though I do not consider dancing one of my talents, I actively took part in order to ensure the performance is good. Day five was therefore mostly a day about collaboration in order to ensure we give a valuable learning experience to the students at the local school. This collaboration, I believe, went well and it ended up indeed being a successful day. This day also enabled me to see life in a local Hong Kong school. In this way, I learnt about an aspect of Hong Kong I rarely would have the chance to.
On the last day of China Week, I learnt about Buddhism, a religion I previously had very little knowledge about and I visited a local village. The visit to the village was the most memorable experience of my China week because I found it fascinating seeing what is considered a village here and comparing that to what is a village in my own country. Therefore, the last day was both insightful and thought provoking. Overall, I would describe this week using those two words (insightful and thought provoking). China week helped me to experience Chinese culture but at the same time, it helped me think about my own culture.