Foreign students experience the origins of China’s ‘red culture’ from Shanghai to Zhejiang

Over 30 foreign students from 28 countries set out on a tour on Tuesday to have a closer appreciation of the hallmark sites of China’s “red culture,” from the memorial site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Shanghai, to the replica of the “Red Boat” in Jiaxing, in East China’s Zhejiang Province.

The group of foreign students, coming from eight universities in the Shanghai area, started their journey through the origins of the Chinese “red culture” from their morning visit to the birthplace of the CPC.

Most of the students interviewed by the Global Times said that they are interested in Chinese culture and this is a good opportunity to have a better understanding of the country where they are living and studying.

Victor, from Brazil, is 24 years old and can speak fluent Chinese. He has been studying in China for two years and has his own favorite Chinese pop star. Victor took part in this trip because he was really interested in Chinese culture and how China develops. “I really feel safe living in China,” Victor told the Global Times on Tuesday.

21-year-old Avenash, from the US, has been living in China for five years. This was his first time visiting Jiaxing and he quite enjoyed seeing the Nanhu Lake. He had some questions around what the CPC does and why it is so famous in Jiaxing. “I want to dig into the facts and do research when I go home,” Avenash told the Global Times on Tuesday, noting that this is a good opportunity to learn about the history of the CPC.

Erik, 24, from Mexico, shared with the Global Times that he was impressed by Chinese people’s creativity pretending to play games in a boat as a cover, when they were actually doing things to improve their country.

On July 23, 1921, the CPC’s First National Congress was held in a building located at 76 Xingye Road in Shanghai, with 13 delegates attending the meeting. On July 30, the Congress was forced to suspend the meeting and had to move to a boat in Zhejiang, now known as the “Red Boat,” on the Nanhu Lake in Jiaxing.

Aimee studied at the Confucius Institute in his native Rwanda to learn Chinese culture. “Before I came to China, I was really interested about Chinese culture,” he said. Aimee, who can also speak fluent Chinese, mentioned he was curious about China.

Following the footsteps of our revolutionary forefathers, we realize the “Red Boat” spirit which “embodies creativity and hard work” and inspires us in what we are doing today and how we improve and promote friendly cooperation between people in China and the rest of world, Jing Ying, Vice President of the Shanghai People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, said at a conference on Tuesday in Jiaxing after the tour of the “red sites”.

Under the guidance of the people’s associations for friendship with foreign countries in Shanghai and Jiaxing, the “Magnificent Culture” event was jointly organized by the Shanghai Overseas Returned Scholars Association,the University of Manchester China Center and Mcloud.

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