BEIJING, CHINA –
Media OutReach – 9 June 2023 – After travelling some 2,500 km, 40 Tibetan kids from a welfare home on the around 4,500-meter-high Qinghai-Tibet Plateau finally set foot on China’s top-level football stadium on June 2.
The 40 kids came from Yushu Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, northwest China’s Qinghai Province. They stayed in Beijing for five days and took part in a series of exchange activities.
Yushu lies at the source of the Yellow, Yangtze, and Lancang (the upper reaches of the Mekong) rivers. Thirteen years ago, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the area, attracting the world’s attention.
The oldest of the 40 Tibetan kids is 16 and the youngest 7. This was the first time they had visited Beijing. Some of them had never left their hometown or sat in an airline seat. Among them, there were many football lovers, but the lack of professional training has not thwarted their dreams of becoming a player.
On Friday night, these kids showed up at the Beijing Workers’ Stadium, one of the most prestigious stadiums in China, which hosted events related to the 1990 Asian Games and the 2008 Olympic Games. A boy named A Bin, nicknamed the “Ronaldo of Yushu”, and five of his friends served as escorts during a game of CSL (Chinese Football Association Super League). Nearly 50,000 fans in the stadium cheered to welcome these 40 special guests.
During their journey in Beijing, they also participated in many activities on ethnic culture. At an experience hall on the culture and history of Chinese ethnic groups on the former site of the National Mongolian and Tibetan school, Zangba Cicheng (藏巴次成), a boy who enjoys history classes, buried himself in the historical materials from more than 100 years ago. He said that learning history is the best way to understand the country and the nation. While watching the performance of the China Ethnic Song & Dance Ensemble, Dolma Tso(卓玛措), a 13-year-old girl, said that the musical instruments of different ethnic groups have their own characteristics, but produce a very imposing and pleasant sound when played together.
The Palace Museum, the Great Wall, the Bird’s Nest, the Water Cube (the National Aquatics Center)… the places these Tibetan kids have toured are epitomes of not only the history of ancient China, but also the pulse of modern China.
When asked about the reason why they wanted to visit Beijing the most, the kids give various answers. But the hottest answer was “Because Beijing is the capital city of our country.”
The five-day program was organized by China News Service, a mainstream news agency.
“Through this special program during Children’s Day, we hope to warmly welcome the kids so that they will have hope in their eyes and dreams in their hearts. We hope they will have more unforgettable childhood memories and a more promising future,” said Yu Lan, deputy editor-in-chief of China News Service and president of China News Network, the agency’s official website.
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