From the Readers

I love you, colorful and warm Guizhou

Updated: Mar 31, 2023 By Akter Nilu chinadaily.com.cn Print
Share - WeChat

[Bangladesh] Akter Nilu, Guizhou Universit

Soon I will be on a flight to Bangladesh and meet my parents, who have been separated with me for a long time. Now I am sitting on the lawn in front of the school gate. All around are young figures in academic gowns taking pictures excitedly, saying goodbye to the Guizhou University and walking towards their bright future. I am one of them, and at the moment my eyes were filled with tears because of complicated emotion. From the day I bought my air ticket, it seemed that countless scenes stimulated my weak tear glands and proved to me my deep attachment to this university, this city and this country.

Before packing my luggage and departing for China, I had a lot of questions in my mind, toward an unknown life with expectations and nervousness. What would happen to my future life in China? What kind of place is Guizhou,the new place I will live in the future? How will I communicate with Chinese people? Will Chinese be as friendly as the Bengalis? Can I adapt to Chinese culture? Can I even adjust to eating food with chopsticks? One night, I even dreamed of Guizhou, which is just an obscure existence. When I woke up, I immediately went online to search for photos about Guizhou, desperately wanting to visualize Guizhou in my dreams and feel my second identity in advance-a resident of Guizhou.

Akter Nilu [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Finally, on September 4, 2018, I saw the real image of Guizhou. The first time I landed at Guiyang Airport, I was a little nervous, but full of passion and yearning. I’m curious about everything here. During the journey from Guiyang Airport to Guizhou University, I found that this is a city full of charm; a city with green hills, streams and bridges as well as national customs. The next day, when the soft morning twilight sprinkled, I strolled through the campus with great joy. The mid-summer sunlight mirrored on the blue waves of Yuehu Lake, reflecting the red walls of the library and the clear blue sky –all these scenes deeply impressed me. After visiting the campus, I went to lunch with my new friends. The people here are very warm-hearted and friendly, and there are always people saying nihao, “hello,” to me with a smile, but at that time I didn’t know how to respond with Chinese. Seeing them so friendly, I didn’t know what to do. Friends introduced Guizhou food to me, which is completely different from Bengali cuisine. It was as if I had entered a brandnew world. But I also had met some difficulties. When the first time I used chopsticks I spent an hour eating. Later I bought a pair of chopsticks and practiced repeatedly in my dormitory room.

Guizhou University [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

However, the real difficulty I encountered in China was learning the Chinese language; the tones and characters of Chinese were completely strange to me. The writing of Chinese characters was even more difficult to start. Every day when I returned to the dormitory after class, I always felt depressed. I thought about giving up for many times. It was a headache when I read Chinese books. Meanwhile, I wasn’t baffled. I would take a deep breath and tell myself after feeling upset: “Niru, learning Chinese is a new challenge for you, don’t be afraid, believe in yourself, keep working hard. You will definitely overcome all the difficulties.” Fortunately, all my language teachers are so kind and patient.

They helped me overcome a lot of difficulties in the process of learning Chinese. But in the years of learning Chinese, I also encountered some embarrassing moments. One day on the street I asked a guy “Can I kiss you?” (I wanted to say “Can I ask you?” “Kiss” and “ask” are pronounced the same in Chinese but in different tones) Because the tone was wrong, everyone who listened to it was shocked. This scene was so awkward that I would like the floor to swallow me up.

As I became more and more familiar with Guizhou, I kept making progress in my command of Chinese. All the fears and frustrations I had were replaced by curiosity and the desire to learn more. I began to explore the beautiful sights of Guizhou. I was fascinated by its natural beauty. I went to visit the Huangguoshu Waterfalls, Anshun Dragon Palace scenic spot, Pingtang Tiankeng scenic area, ancient city of Zhenyuan and so on. I also learned a lot about Chinese culture in a very short period of time, such as Peking Opera, calligraphy, tea art, Tai Chi. What impressed me the most was the tea ceremony, which is an art in China. The process of making tea is intoxicating.

Akter Nilu's graduation photo [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

When I first started learning tea ceremony, I was told that there is a special brewing rule. Tea art masters should start brewing tea right after the water is boiling, otherwise the flavor of tea will be altered with time. Chinese tea ceremony is still a philosophy – watching a person’s action of making tea and savoring the flavor of it you can perceive his mood and personality. This may be the charm of Chinese tea ceremony that captured my heart.

After four years of living in Guizhou, my initial doubts and uneasiness turned into security and peace. Now I start my morning with a fresh cup of tea. I eat with chopsticks more flexibly than with my hands. And I really found Chinese to be a uniquely interesting and exciting language. I can confidently communicate smoothly with Chinese people. I have made so many good friends in Guizhou. The Guiyang dialect, which I could not understand at first, became a pleasant music, and the spicy dishes of Guizhou became delicious.

Everything in Guizhou makes me feel the warmth and comfort of home. After returning to Bangladesh, I will definitely miss the delicious taste of Guizhou, especially my favorite specialty-sour soup fish.

Akter Nilu [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

I used to have a fear of getting lost in this strange city, however, now I feel safe here. I can go anywhere without worry and explore the beautiful landscapes and the profound Chinese culture. In Guizhou, I also met the most precious person in my life, who is like a family member in Guizhou, my teacher who taught me tea ceremony. She always treated me like her daughter, so I called her mom. She often said to me: “Niru, don’t forget, you have a Chinese mother, you also have a home in Guizhou, no matter where you go in the future, this place will always be your home, I will always welcome you back.” I consider myself a lucky person because I have received the unconditional love from a woman I have no blood relation to. During the four years I lived in Guizhou, my Chinese mother accompanied me to celebrate major festivals such as New Year’s Day, Spring Festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival. I haven’t been back to Bangladesh to visit my parents and my relatives in the past few years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but I’ve never felt far away from my family and the people I love. Guizhou gave me all the love and care I needed. I will always remember Guizhou and miss everything here.

Time flies like an arrow, and in the blink of an eye, my four-year trip in Guizhou is coming to an end. Leaving Guizhou for me was a temporary departure from my second hometown. If I have the opportunity in the future, I will definitely return to Guizhou and return to my family and meet friends in my second hometown. Now, I am at Guizhou University, at the foot of Xishan Mountain, on the shore of Huaxi Lake, and I can see these beautiful red walls, blue waves, and those lovely people. Everything in the Guizhou University would be the same as before, groups of students with dreams studying here day after day. However,I had to leave. I also want to ask Guizhou, will you miss me after I leave?

Guizhou, thank you for giving me a new identity, you changed my life, you made me a better person, you are my second hometown. I will never forget you, I will continue to enrich my young and hot youth with Chinese culture and my expertise, illuminating the unknown but hopeful road ahead. The time I spent at the Guizhou University will make a big difference in my life. If I look back on the present time in the future, I will definitely thank myself for this hard work now, and I am grateful for the people who spent their youth with me... But “all good things must come to an end.” I’m leaving now, I want to listen to the guqin playing a melodious piece of music, I’d like to make another pot of fragrant green tea, I want to take another look at the beautiful scenery of Guizhou. Finally, I just want to say, I love you, my lovely Guizhou University! I love you, colorful and warm Guizhou!

Guizhou, wait for me to go home next time.

The story is from "My Beautiful Encounter with China" Essay Competition organized by the Chinese Service Center for Scholarly Exchanges (CSCSE).

Copyright©2024 China Daily. All rights reserved.


京公网安 京公网安备 11010502032503号