National Week in China is a week long public holiday commemorating the day the ruling Chinese Communist Party was incepted in Shanghai on October 1st 1949.
Towards the end of the week, the campus was eerily quiet with many students returning home or travelling around the country – just generally making the most of the generous time off.
In preparation for national week we attended a gala and ‘opening ceremony’ at the new Zhejiang University of Media and Communication (ZUMC) campus opening in the next district from Xiasha, where we are staying, called Tong Xiang. The new campus is a joint initiative between Coventry University, ZUMC and the Tong Xiang local government.
At the ceremony we met with Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University, Madeleine Atkins and several other staff from Coventry University who were there for the opening ceremony. It was a good experience for us to catch up with what was going on at home, aswell as giving the Vice-Chancellor an opportunity to see how we are representing the university on an international scale. Hopefully, she was impressed.
After the formalities of speeches from all concerned parties and photos for local news agencies we made our way into the brand new campus’ sports arena which for that evening doubled as an open air concert venue, used to welcome the freshman who are soon to be starting their new lives at uni.
The concert was brilliant (if not a little confusing given we couldn’t understand what was being sung or performed) and despite a mosquito bites from being out in the open for a few hours we all came away entertained and happy to have been part of the ceremony for the opening.
At the weekend we decided to take a wonder ‘off the beaten track’ and try and discover perhaps a more ‘rural’ version of China that we had yet to see. This experience led us to plenty of market stalls with vendors selling all sorts from bikes, to shoe laces to a stall that can only be described as selling ‘bits and bobs’. Amazing!
Next week some of us are hoping to venture into Shanghai and if we have enough time a few other cities that we would like to visit given the week of from classes – oh and complete our essays and homework that has been set!