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Foreign Youths Uncover Rural China through Field Trips

By YAN DENG|Jan 10,2023

Chongqing - On January 5, the Chongqing International Land-Sea Communication Foundation organized a three-day field trip to the Shizhu Tujia Autonomous County in Southwest China's Chongqing Municipality to show the promising results of rural revitalization. Four foreign youths had the chance to talk to local people in villages to feel the rural development with their eyes and lens.

Chongqing International Land-Sea Communication Foundation members and international students chose the Zhongyi Village in Shuzhu county as their first stop, where Chinese President Xi Jinping inspected for poverty alleviation achievements on April 15, 2019. They came to the Polygonatum (a kind of Chinese herbal medicine) noodle factory to see the production process and how the Polygonatum, or polygonatum sibiricua, a Chinese herb, was mixed into the noodles. They tried the noodles and other agricultural products at the site, those which have boosted the local's income in recent years.

Nigora from Tajikistan tasted the peach slices with Polygonatum ingredients. (Photo/Chongqing International Land-Sea Communication Foundation)

It is understood that Polygonatum planting and processing are essential industries in Zhongyi Village to promote rural revitalization. On September 23, a total of 540 boxes of high-quality "Zhongyi Polygonatum Noodles" weighing about 8,100 kilograms were loaded and exported to Australia, Singapore, and South Africa, going global for the first time. "I was impressed by the wisdom of putting Polygonatum into other agricultural products, which not only taste unique but are also beneficial to the people's well-being," said Ebrahim, a Yemen student at Chongqing University.

In the afternoon, the group walked into a field to see how local people grew Polygonatum in Zhongyi village. One official from the local government introduced how this village integrated agriculture with tourism. Zhongyi Village is the "Bee Town of China," in-depth research has gone into the innovation of leading specialty products that integrate agriculture, culture, and tourism. 

Chongqing International Land-Sea Communication Foundation members and international students visited the Zhongyi Village in Shuzhu county. (Photo/Deng Yan)

Some villages in Shizhu County are also developing a homestay economy. On January 6, the group went to the Chongqing Shizhu Tengzigou National wetland park to learn how this county protects the ecology and develops tourism. Surrounding the wetland park dotted some well-decorated homestays, which have become one of the most prestigious summer resorts where people can escape the heat. 

The village develops a homestay economy. (Photo/Chongqing International Land-Sea Communication Foundation)

At the Chongqing Shizhu Tengzigou National wetland park publicity center, the social volunteers demonstrated the group with a photo exhibition of the significant changes in Qiaotou Town over the last five years. In addition, the local pupils joined the group to depict the future vision of the town with brushes.

The local pupils joined the group to depict the future vision of the town with brushes. (Photo/Chongqing International Land-Sea Communication Foundation)

Four foreign youths visited Qiaotou Town on the same day to share their national culture with local pupils. Loujain from Syria, Ph.D. in civil engineering at Chongqing University, introduced her countries, such as the capital, the food, and her hometown. Nigora from Tajikistan, Master of Economics and Management at Chongqing University, also presented their local food, clothes, and other aspects with PowerPoint. Omar from Yemen, a foreign teacher of Arabic at Chongqing Institute of Foreign Studies, showed the students some city scenery and welcomed them to visit.

Omar from Yemen, a foreign teacher of Arabic at Chongqing Institute of Foreign Studies, showed the city scenery to the students. (Photo/Chongqing International Land-Sea Communication Foundation)

At night, the group held a bonfire party with the locals, four international students performed their songs and special dances, and the Tujia people taught them how to do the hands-waving dances. People held hands in a circle and danced around the campfire, everyone with a beaming smile. "I think the bonfire party is the best part of the trip. It's really about the cultural exchanges, learning each other's dances and customs," said Nigora, who also performed the beautiful dance to the locals.

The group held a bonfire party with the locals. (Photo/Chongqing International Land-Sea Communication Foundation)

On the last day, the group planted trees on one field in Qiaotuo Village in a ceremony representing friendly relationships and cultural exchanges. "Thanks to this activity, I can learn more about China's rural development. We can see how technology benefits the city and the countryside. It's an amazing experience," said Omar.



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