Monday, May 21, 2007

Like 'Inuk' Father, Like 'Chinese' Son

My son (on the left) has spent the last university year on an student exchange in Singapore. During his New Year break he and his cousin, also on an exchange, spent some time hiking in the mountains of Yunnan Province of southwestern China. At his age I was learning to hunt with the Inuit, another sort of adventure entirely. I think it is such a wonderful experience to get out and 'rough it' while you're young. Once the die is set, a lifetime of pleasure will be gained from knowing how to travel and how to mix with people very different culturally from yourself.

At this point, they have managed to hike the gorge practically up to the Tibetan border. The building here is in Lijiang and is typical of the Tibetan style found in the area.

Hiking back in Montreal? No. The boys flew over to the city of Chengdu in central China to meet up with a young Chinese lady they both knew when attending McGill University. She had gone home for the holidays and offered to show the boys around her home town. Chinese students are also getting out and exploring the world and then bringing home their skills and memories to fashion their lives with. Good for them!

Incidently, both boys took it upon themselves to learn to speak Chinese. Between the two of them, they managed to meet all their needs, one filling in the missing word for the other. My son is now back in China for the summer using his new language skills to make his way in the hustle-bustle of the land.


Silbs said...

I find it wonderful how young folks are using exchange programs and other travel opportunities to explore out shrinking world. My daughter lived in the middle east for a few years, and I know it changed her in a positive way.

Alison Dyer said...

you sound a rightly proud dad. has gotta be fun following his hiking adventures in Tibet.

William Smith said...

I also learn Chinese by a special and innovative service in Beijing Chinese School. I like to learn in live class with teachers from Beijing directly. I also like to practice Chinese with volunteers freely everyday. Watching Chinese learning TV on CLTV is also interesting and helpful to practice listening and learn more about Chinese culture.