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International students find second home as they explore Western China on a culture exchange programme

Angelos Restanis - 15 August 2017, 00:08

The locals from Danba, in Ganzi, invited the travelers from the different countries to eat some wholesome home-cooked meals.

CHENGDU, China - In Sichuan province, which is located 1,200 miles away from Beijing, students from 10 different countries ventured into China's west, to Ganzi and Aba, which make up the country's second largest Tibetan prefecture.

The locals from Danba, in Ganzi, invited the travelers from the different countries to eat some wholesome home-cooked meals. They tasted unique vegetables, sweet meats, and long tablefuls of local dishes. One explorer, called Minigalin, was reminded of their hometown Russia in an instant, while trying a familiar potato dish.

The crew, still mesmerized by Ganzi and Aba's natural beauty, took an exciting turn into a studio at a major artist hub in Danba, where they viewed scenery behind a Buddha, framed on the wall. Another traveler called Sima, a traveler with a passion of art from Iran, was thrilled to meet with a master specialising in Thangka, or Tibetan Buddhist Painting. After looking around the decorated studio, the students felt a spirit of being able to exchange ideas in similar art communities around the world. They asked questions, shared opinions, and had conversations for a long period of time. For Sima, the enriching experience helped her gain a better perspective - familiar with an abundance of nature in Iran's art works, she was inspired by the culture of the many faces of Buddha in Thangka.

During the short week, the group of 20 quickly became good friends, not only with each other, but with the locals as well. In the wild hilltops, over 200 miles away from Chengdu in neighboring Sichuan, the travelers found the same warmth and hospitality they were used to in their hometowns. They celebrated life through the universal language of song and dance with the locals. Despite the modernization of many areas in Ganzi and Aba, its diverse ethnicities share a common similarity in their celebrations with the rest of the world.

After the short week, the explorers said their reluctant farewells to the locals and their showed their unwavering affection. They thanked I'm In China Project for helping them find a second home in another country, and gained unforgettable stories and experiences which they were able to take back home.



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