A Story from Fujian Province, China
Write to China 2017 First Trip
By: Gracia Piona Yosephine – Universitas Indonesia
I can say that I have already started my involvement in Write to China 2017 quite far from landing in Xiamen International Airport. I can feel the thrill even when the committee released the breaking 35 best essay and I was told that one of them is me. Unexpected, I never thought of being selected as one, let alone going to China as the Winner of Write to China Essay Competition. I am well aware that Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) have always been one of the foremost attention of Indonesian students based on their entity as a think tank of international policy and its breakthrough. Being one of the members of this year’s Cabinet of FPCI Local Chapter Universitas Indonesia, I also knew that the stress of objective lies in the international relation students because the founders of the local chapter itself are the students of International Relation in my University. That is why I have never imagined going to China as one of the toughly-selected winners this year.
But the day when they announced me as one of the winners, I know that this must be up to something. I know that the main reason why FPCI should be established is no other than making a wave of critical-minded youth without losing concern towards their own Country. Being able to criticize International policy in which Indonesia is involved and at the same time aware of the international involvement is the value I have felt so far by the activities held by FPC Indonesia. That is why I put my high expectation on getting the same value through the China Trip this year.
I was warmly welcomed by the Chinese students. I never thought that we were getting so close in no time. The first day we arrived in Huaqiao University Hotel, there was a welcoming assembly where we got to introduce ourselves one by one. I was so sure that by the time I have to leave China I would not remember all of their names. But turns out I can remember all of their names on the 3rd day of the China trip. It was all thanks to their openness and friendliness to us Indonesian students that every time we asked them about the type of food that we ate they patiently explained to us and they even emphasized on how it planted or its origin and so on. I didn’t know that a simple lunch-time conversation can have its own value on me.
Aside from being informative and superb hosts, the Chinese students were really open to what they are facing and actually worrying of. I had several deep talks with the Chinese students on how their educational system works and how do they like it. They were also curious about the problems that usually faced by Indonesian students as we live on the same continent. Turns out there are countless of problems that can be talked amongst each other that turns out to be a problem solver for each other. That kind of talks, mixed with the jokes on each countries’ bad words have really made us closer. I personally learned a lot from the Chinese students on their curiosity, especially their discipline and punctuality. I got a glimpse of their “by-order” lifestyle that I still have to figure out, whether it is a good thing or not, to be implemented in Indonesia especially by the youth.
China is undoubtedly one of the biggest countries in the world, and I do realize that it also affected its nature sites and culture. But I never knew that China is such a beautiful culture-rich country after I see for myself. And I got to enjoy it for days. I learned from the places I have visited they China put their highest concern to the things that they are excelled at. Even if it was only a minor thing. The way the country preserve their natural and cultural sites and use it for their advantages without exploiting it was really a personal reminder for me as the representative of Indonesia. One of my favorite places would be the cultural heritage called “Impression Da Hong Pao”. Impression Da Hong Pao Theatre is the world’s biggest among its peers and the first to introduce 360-degree rotating auditorium, presenting the one and only “Rotating View Theatre” it is placed near the Wuyi Mountain, which is known as the “King of Tea” and well recognized back Tang and Song dynasties. The story is about the origin of the tea and also other values that can be learned from nature. The performance area consists of archaistic residence zone, highland zone, sandbank zone and riverway zone surrounding the auditorium. Archaistic residence zone is inspired by buildings in Xiamen’s Dwellings of Wuyi Mountain and makes the performance zone like a giant teahouse with 1988 seats.
One at a time, I really felt like the reason for us to go to such an efficient government as China is for us to learn how to preserve what we have instead of longing for something that we are lacking. I realized that there are so much to learn from China and to actually do the trial and error to find a commensuration for Indonesia. But as the matter of cooperation, we went to several seminars of One Belt and One Road initiative by the Chinese government and had a chance to present several questions related to the impact for Indonesia. From the seminar, although the answers were mostly theoretical, but I can see that being involved in such profitable initiative will bring more good than harm to Indonesia, especially the one element that matter the most is the maritime international transportation that has already been brought by our President Mr. Joko Widodo as one of the proposals for profit development, considering the strategic maritime area of Indonesia.
To conclude my report and my personal experience in China, I have to say that this trip is one of the eye and mind opening experienced I have ever felt. Even though my original plan was to know more precise about the one belt and one road, I got a lot of other important things since my arrival until the day I left back to Jakarta. I am well aware that every journey has its own value, so I am also pretty sure that I would not get this knowledge – enriching experience anywhere in the world, anytime in other chance, or with anyone other than my 59 companions in China. I am beyond grateful that I have a chance to see for myself and to actually learn by comparing my still-developing country to the already-developed country as China. Moreover, I got a chance to met several journalists from Indonesian’s prominent and biggest newspaper to actually share and criticize my own point of view compared to them, the experienced knowledge seeker. To put short, I was wondering how can I learn so much while having fun at the same time?