Island Boy Sets His Eyes On The World
This Blogger visited visited China for two weeks and among the many wonderful encounters was making friends with China Foreign Affairs university sophomore, Huang Xiaochun, who is majoring in International Studies, including fluency in English and Spanish.
Xiaochun, tell us about your home?
“I am from the tropical resort island of Gulangyu in the South of China. I had to take a five-minute ferry to go to high school on the mainland. My father was a Customs official and my mother manages a 12-room guest house. We live in an apartment very near to the guest house. I can never sleep until late at home because the tourists walking past my bedroom window on their way to the beach make a lot of noise. Everyone walks or rides a bicycle as no private motor cars are allowed on the island. Only the police and emergency services have motor vehicles.”
Do you have any siblings?
“My family is a member of the She ethnic minority group, so under China’s family planning policy, my parents were allowed to have two children. My sister is 16, four years younger than me.”
How did you get interested in a career in the foreign service?
“From I was 14 years old I helped my mother at the guest house. I liked meeting people, learning another language and learning about cultures. I decided to attend a foreign language high school and prepare myself to represent my country in the field of diplomacy. I did not have to do a university entrance exam because I graduated from this special school. I want to help my country to be developed, especially for the peasants who devote their whole lives providing food for us. While we enjoy our success we should remember them. We are in the same nation and the same world: one humanity.”
What do you do as a hobby?
“I like volunteering and I am a member of the Greenpeace NGO and of the global youth organisation AIESEC (AIESEC is Association Internationale de Etudiantes en Sciences, Economiques et Commerciales) at my university. I was selected as a volunteer coordinator for this Caribbean Professional Journalist Programme. I do not get paid for this and I still attend my classes.”
Do you do sports?
“I do not play on a team but I do many activities with my friends such as swimming, table tennis, cycling, football, basketball, and especially billiards. Billiards is very popular where I am from and we follow the professionals on Taiwan television. Of course I follow the career of the famous Chinese basketball player, Yao Ming, who plays for the Houston Rockets in the USA. I also follow English Professional Snooker Player, Ronnie "Rocket" O'Sullivan.”
Do you follow fashion?
“Not really. I buy for comfort and quality but do not follow brand names.”
What is your favourite music?
“I like the Taiwanese R&B/Rap entertainer Jay Chou and the American groups Cold Play and Green Day.”
What about reggae music?
“I have never heard about reggae music. Maybe I have heard it but I do not know the name. I listen to music but do not dance.”
Do you go clubbing?
“No. I do not know any. Nightclubs are not allowed near to schools and universities in Beijing.”
What is your favourite food?
“I do not have a favourite food but like to try Chinese dishes from different provinces. When I travel home for the holidays on the train my friends and we will come off along the way for a few hours and try new food.”
Favourite Movie Stars
“Tom Cruise, especially in the movie Top Gun. I also recently saw the movie Inception.”
Are you religious?
“My mother is Buddhist and prays a lot. She selected a scripture passage for me when I was going away to university to encourage me and I keep the text on my computer desktop. I think about the future a lot and try to make a plan.”
What are your dreams of family life?
“I would like to get married and have two children, hopefully a girl and a boy like my parents. My girlfriend and I were in high school together and we have been dating now for three years. She is attending another university in Beijing.”
Which countries would you like to visit?
“Our neighbour India, and also South Africa and the USA.”
Please explain the meaning of your first name.
“My name, Xiaochun, is made up of two Chinese characters. The first means knowledge and the second means a clean mind. My name therefore is that although I must gain a lot of knowledge about a lot of things, I must also keep my mind pure and clean.”