When all good things come to an end.

It has been a long and adventurous journey in China. Following five weeks of unswerving lectures, practical workshops and field visits, participants have successfully completed the training on Paper Cutting and Traditional Folk Handicraft Production for Developing Countries 2017.

Sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce and organized by the International Exchange Centre (I.E.C) of Yangling Demonstration Zone, it is time to bid farewell not only to the host country but to colleagues from attending countries who have shared this experience with us.

The Deputy Secretary General of Yangling Demonstration Zone, Mr. Bai Hongwei in his keynote address congratulated the participants for having completed the course. “I urge you all to apply the lessons learned in China to further promote cultural programmes as an investment in your own countries.”

Among the guests who attended the closing ceremony included Ms Cui Zhiwei, Inspector of Shaanxi Women’s Federation, management and staff of I.E.C as well as the media.

Participating countries at this training course included Dominica, Jamaica, Seychelles, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe as well as the largest delegation from Panama.

A big faafetai to the Chinese Ambassador H.E. Wang Weufeng and his Good Lady as well as his staff for organising our group travel. 

Returning the favour of acknowledging the assistance of the People’s Republic of China, I was invited to say a few words on behalf of the group. The following text was delivered during the closing ceremony which sums up our month long stay in China:

Caption: Group photo; Closing

 

“ACKNOWLEDGEMENT REMARKS BY VICTORIA LEPOU – REPRESENTATIVE OF TRAINING ON PAPER CUTTING AND TRADITIONAL FOLK HANDICRAFT PRODUCTION FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES 2017

DISTINGUISHED OFFICIALS OF THE YANGLING DEMONSTRATION ZONE

MANAGEMENT AND STAFF OF THE YANGLING INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE CENTER

PARTICIPANTS

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

Ni hao! Good Morning and Hola!

I am humbled to be given this special opportunity to reminisce on our journey on behalf of participants of the Training on Paper Cutting and Traditional Folk Handicraft Production for Developing Countries 2017.

It has been a wonderful and amazing intercultural and architectural experience sharing knowledge, skills and attitudes from each country alongside China’s expertise in paper cutting and traditional folk handicraft production.

When I say architectural experience, each participant was not only introduced into the history of many forms of art but this training has taken us to communities where such practices are the lifeblood of the Chinese people.

For this group, each participating country will take away new ideas, knowledge and skills to be applied in their respective fields. What comes next will be at the discretion of each individual but at least to this day, we are here as one voice to acknowledge the huge contribution by the Government of the People’s Republic of China.

Five weeks of training is a lifetime experience for the participants. For some, this is their first time in China. For some, this is one of their many trips and still fascinated by the growing social and economic development of China.

Yangling has been our home throughout this training. Most of us would miss this place, the three course meal every day at this beautiful hotel, the gym (for some), the housemaids, tour guides, hotel staff and our hangout place outside uncle’s shop at the park.  So, thank you to the officials of the Yangling Demonstration Zone.

Coming from different backgrounds with different perspectives, I can only say (on behalf of the group), that we have not only learnt about China’s culture through its wonderful and friendly people, lectures and activities but we have also learned about the cultures of other countries present in this room. 

Bringing together people of various backgrounds who hold different perspectives is not an easy job.  Therefore we must acknowledge the hardworking staff of the Yangling International Exchange Center.

To Lily, Daisy and Troy – you deserve a pat on the back and let me say, congratulations for a job well done.  Thank you very much for your patience whenever there are questions.  It is not always easy to manage and coordinate such events. We learned in this journey that there are many Very Impatient People (V.I.P’s) in China, but you three have been Very Patient putting up with us day and night – especially Troy.  No more will you hear anyone calling you “Troy please, Troy where are we going? Troy what is this and what is that? We will miss you three and we will miss China”.

Last but not the least – to all participants, thank you for the friendships we have developed since day one.  Until we meet again. Safe travels back home and God bless.

Most importantly, to the organisers, if the words we had said or actions had been inappropriate, let me also take this opportunity to convey our sincere apologies.  As the saying goes “Let bygones be bygones” “Forgive and forget and start anew”.

 

Xie Xie, Thank you, Gracias.

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