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Feeling the vastness and appreciating the magnificence of China

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By Biggers Sauli | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: Jan 29, 2022

[Malawi] Biggers Sauli, Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Biggers Sauli [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

This is a new era with well-developed internet, through which obtaining information has become quick and convenient. Some people believe that it is possible to know a country or place by spending a little time searching on the internet, and the actual visit is no longer necessary. I thought so as well before I came to China.

However, what I have realized after coming to China is that this country is totally different from what I had imagined. Media can offer a glimpse of China, but what have been reported can be subjective because the media are used to presenting those favourable or beneficial for itself. Therefore, I think the only way to deeply understand a country is to experience and discover it by yourself.

Here, I would like to share my impressions and feelings for China before and after I came to this country, from three aspects.

The first thing I would like to talk about is the freedom of religion. Before coming to China, as a traditional Christian, I can still remember the concerns of both my family and myself about whether my religious relief would be accepted in China. According to my “research”, some people said that the religious groups are oppressed in China, while some suggested that they did not know much about the real situation.

Now I have been in China for two years and a half, and I have never been oppressed because of my belief. What amazes me as well as my family and friends most is that I can go to church as I used to. This has altered our previous perceptions that the Chinese have no religious beliefs and no churches could be found in China. My current feeling of China is that it is a very inclusive country. Although most Chinese do not have specific religious beliefs, no one will interfere with those who want to find or already have religious faiths.

Huazhong University of Science and Technology Library [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

The second is the socialist system. I feel that not only my compatriots and I at the time, but also many people especially those in non-socialist countries, do not understand the real socialism in China. This may have something to do with the news about China reported by the overseas media. Thus, many people hold the dark or negative perception of socialism without a true picture of China and the socialism in this country.

They stubbornly believe that the ordinary people and the media in China do not have their freedom of speech, which however, has never been seen during my stay in China. In fact, everything I have observed and experienced here makes me admire socialism. This country is highly responsible and its government always puts the people’s interests at the top priority. This is particularly true in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in China. Even the foreigners like us have received thoughtful care, which is not usual in other countries. Therefore, I feel that China’s socialism is the best.

Thirdly, China is a beautiful and marvellous country. I had heard about the rapid development of China before coming here, and I had disappointedly guessed: Has the beautiful scenery already been destroyed? Surprisingly, I have seen countless gorgeous scenery on the vast land of China. In these two and a half years, I have climbed the Great Wall, visited the West Lake and had a great time in Wuhan.

I am always fascinated by the beauty of everywhere I have been to. China is completely different from what I had imagined, and it’s incredible! Besides, China’s marvellousness is also reflected in its technological and economic development. The Chinese economy has boomed rapidly in a short period of time and the technology has progressed faster and faster – you can see these everywhere if you live in China.

Shao Li (fourth from the right) took part in the recitation competition. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

What makes me finally fall in love with China is the enthusiasm and regular life of the Chinese people. Students educated in China exhibit distinctive characteristics. They are punctual and they have great passion about their study and work. They are clear about what to do and what they are doing.

All in all, if you want to understand a place or a certain culture, be there and experience it by yourself. China has now become my second hometown. Let’s feel the vastness of China, appreciate the magnificence of China and keep the beauty of China in our hearts forever.

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