Study abroad is a powerful vehicle for people-to-people exchange as we move into a new era of citizen diplomacy.
— Michelle Obama
Luckily, I was nominated for a one-year exchange program at the University of Hong Kong.
It is my first exposure to a city whose native language is not mandarin. College courses are fully delivered in English. The native prefer to communicate in Cantonese. Unfortunately, neither of them was I fluent in. After a few weeks’ adaption, I was able to catch up with the teacher in the class and communicate with locals. “多飯唔該” (more rice please) was the most fluent Cantonese sentence I could speak when I followed my stomach to the restaurant.
Hong Kong has a mixture of races and cultures. Coming from various backgrounds, people view things differently, but this kind of difference usually inspires new ideas that lead to consensus. The key is to be receptive and introspective. Zack, my American friend, and I often discussed the human right situation in China, the Prism Event in America and so on. We did hold divergent views on some topics, especially in politics, but we share some basic values as well, which are over boundaries and races. I still remember the night when I told Zack a group of knife-wielding terrorists attacked the Kunming Railway Station and killed at least 28 innocent people. “Cowardly action!”, he said, “It reminds me the fucking 911.” The respect for life and the denouncement to terrorism led a yellow and white to consensus at that night.
My roommate Samuel is from Taipei. He is a very social guy major in Diplomacy. Since our homes are both far away from Hong Kong, we stayed there during the spring festival. Think about it. A Chinese and a Taiwanese celebrate the spring festival together in Hong Kong. What a culture blending.
There are many other interesting stories happened in Hong Kong. I kept updating my sina weibo everyday when I was in Hong Kong to record them. The serial’s name is Stories in Hong Kong (港事).
A Short Video of Us
Following is a short video shot by my friends and I. It records some moments of our stories in the University of Hong Kong. It is just a trailer so far and its full version would be published soon. If the Youtube video can not be played due to some well known reasons, here is another link of it on Youku. For visitors from mainland China, please click here.
The Index Photo
The index photo of this page was taken at the Centennial Campus of HKU, during a break when I was shooting a scene of the short video above. I love these water lilies very much.
There are many other interesting stories happened in Hong Kong, such as traveling to Singapore and Malaysia, photography course in Lung Wah Residential College, Fung Scholars and so on. I may update this page or post them on this blog.