Student from HK pursues culture on Chinese mainland

By ZHAO RUIXUE in Jinan | (| Updated : 2021-12-10

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Chong Yee-lam (right) climbed Taishan Mountain with her friend. [Photo provided to]

When Chong Yee-lam of Hong Kong scaled Taishan Mountain in Shandong province for the first time, she stood there for a while, gazing into the distance as far as possible.

Part of a poem about the mountain came to mind: "At the top, you can see all mountains in a single glance."

"I knew the poem before climbing the mountain, but it was the moment when I reached the top and stood there, marveling at the grandeur and rich historical resources, that I knew Taishan deserves the meaning," the 20-year-old said, adding that the poem lingered in her mind days after she returned to school.

Being interested in Chinese history and culture, Chong applied for a major in cultural heritage and museology at Shandong University after graduating from the senior middle school in Hong Kong in 2019.

Now in her junior year at SDU, Chong has been learning about the rich cultural heritage of Shandong, the home of Confucius. Over the past three years, Chong has visited several cities in Shandong, including Qufu, Qingdao and Dongying.

"We have classes to experience hands-on traditional Chinese culture, such as flower arranging and how to conduct a tea ceremony, which is really impressive," Chong said.

She is especially impressed by the procedure for making a book the way the ancient people did.

"It's not easy to make a book, as we need to go through several steps and sew pages together with needles. That's one reason the ancients cherished books so much," she said.

Although it's her first time leaving home to live in a city for an extended period, Chong adjusted without difficulty.

"Before coming to Shandong, I visited several cities including Wuhan, Chongqing and Beijing, which helped me understand the culture, habits, customs and people on the mainland," Chong said. "I enjoy the warm atmosphere around me here in Shandong. When I go to a fruit shop, I am frequently greeted by the woman who is the boss. She remembers me."

If an opportunity arises to stay on the mainland to work after completing her education, Chong would like to take it.

"The Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area has been creating more opportunities for young people. I believe if we take advantage of these opportunities, we will be able to realize our dreams in the future," she said.