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International youth witness the beautiful, harmonious, prosperous, and stable Xinjiang

Shiliuyun-Xinjiang Daily (Reporter Jia Chunxia) news: In a letter to Xinjiang, Thelikada Kankanamge Asela Prabath Kumara, a Sri Lankan student who is a Ph.D. candidate at Beijing Foreign Studies University, expressed his admiration for Xinjiang. He mentioned that during his travels in Xinjiang, he came across numerous lovely faces, including skilled craftsmen, serious researchers, cheerful young girls with bright smiles in the alleys, and teachers who patiently taught them how to paint. He expressed gratitude for the warmth and generosity shown by everyone he met, and expressed a longing in his heart to return to Xinjiang one day. "Despite only leaving Xinjiang two days ago, my heart still remains in that beautiful place, missing the scenes of happiness and warm smiles that brightened the days."

Photo shows the international students from Beijing Foreign Studies University dance with performers at Xinjiang Teacher’s College (Xinjiang Education Institute) in Urumqi City, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo by Shiliuyun-Xinjiang Daily/Jia Chunxia)

During their trip to Xinjiang, the group from Beijing Foreign Studies University, with 12  students originating from countries such as Kazakhstan, South Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Cameroon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Poland, Russia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand, and Iran, and eight teachers, experienced a five-day study tour. They witnessed the economic development, social stability, improvement in people’s livelihoods, cultural prosperity, ethnic unity, religious harmony, and contented livelihoods of the people of all ethnic groups in Xinjiang. And they also viewed a scene of peace, prosperity, and harmony in Xinjiang.

At Xinjiang Museum, students stopped to carefully watch the relics and listen to the docent's explanations, asking questions and learning about the stories behind the relics. "The well-preserved food items like dumplings and snacks from over a thousand years ago left a deep impression on me," said Nik Norafiqah Binti Nik Ibrahim from Malaysia.

Photo shows the international students from Beijing Foreign Studies University in Urumqi City, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. (Photo by Shiliuyun-Xinjiang Daily/Jia Chunxia)

At the Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar, they experienced the rich folk customs and lively atmosphere; at the Xinjiang Ancient Ecological Park, the equestrian performance has been quite an eye-opener for the study group members; and at the Xinjiang Cultural Tourism Digital Expo Center, they immersed themselves in the cultural heritage, folk customs, and natural scenery of Xinjiang.

Through on-site visits, Thelikada Kankanamge Asela Prabath Kumara gained a deep understanding of Xinjiang's history, culture, ethnic customs, and progress in modernization. This experience also enhanced his understanding of different cultures. "I attended a lecture by Meng Nan, dean of the History Department of Xinjiang University, learning about the history, ethnicity, and culture of Xinjiang. I also engaged in discussions with teachers and students from Xinjiang University, sharing thoughts on our cultural backgrounds, academic perspectives, and life experiences," he said. This study trip has left an indelible mark in his mind.

Xinjiang is a well-known land of fruits. On the afternoon of April 29, 2024, at Xinjiang Teacher’s College (Xinjiang Education Institute), international students gathered around the art teacher, learning to paint a pomegranate with Chinese painting techniques. Apsatarova Aruuke from Kyrgyzstan blended the color ochre and ink, drawing the outer skin of the pomegranate, then rinsing the brush, dipping in color, and painting the red pomegranate seeds inside. "Chinese painting techniques may seem simple, but when it comes to the actual painting process, I didn't know where to start. Fortunately, the teacher was there to guide and teach some basic painting techniques. I experienced the charm of Chinese culture," she expressed.

Along with the drum beats, students in vibrant costumes danced, their graceful movements mesmerizing the audience. Soule Manou from Cameroon swayed in his seat, unable to resist the infectious rhythm. Soon, the dancers invited international students to join them. The stage erupted in laughter and youthful exuberance as they danced together. Lim Kanghoon from South Korea then performed "Can't Help Falling in Love" on guitar, his soulful voice captivating the audience. His heartfelt performance earned thunderous applause.

Stepping into the bustling Xinjiang International Grand Bazaar, Lim Kanghoon, knew it would be a unique experience. He expressed deep admiration for the natural landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and warm people of Xinjiang. A memorable incident for him was one evening when he and his classmates got lost on their way back to the hotel after having supper. A local resident noticed them and helped them back to the hotel. "I hope to return to Xinjiang soon, further explore the cities, mountains, and villages here, deepen my understanding of this land, and share its beauty with the world," Lim Kanghoon said.

Soule Manou, during his studies in Beijing, developed a preference for Xinjiang-style big plate chicken and pilaf. During his recent visit to Xinjiang, he indulged in various Xinjiang delicacies like kebabs, yogurt, and hand-pulled noodles while enjoying the beautiful scenery and vibrant dances. He also immersed himself in Chinese culture. “Xinjiang is beautiful, harmonious, prosperous, and stable; I want to visit here again.”

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