This year, the University of Saint Joseph and the AAUSJ have had the honor to be invited by the Ministry of Education of the Central Government together with the full support of the Liaison Office of the Central Government in Macau SAR to once again organize the second Chinese cultural tour to Xi’an, from May 6 to 10 2014. The delegates were led by Mr. Frank Li, Chairman of the General Assembly of AAUSJ, Professor Ana Correia, Dean of the Faculty of Psychology and Education of USJ and Ms. Sam Ka I, Assistant of the Education and Cultural Department of the Liaison Office as consultants.
Xi’an served as the capital city of 13 dynasties in ancient China; its historical and cultural significance has been exceedingly influential to the development of modern China. Today, Xi’an is the center of the northwest region of China. In view of these important factors, the itinerary of the cultural tour has been designed to focus on 2 sections, including exchanges with the modern tertiary education institutions and activities related to knowing more about the historical and cultural development of China.
The delegates visited the Xi’an Jiaotong University, the Xi’an International Studies University and the Shaanxi Normal University for academic exchanges during the first 2 days of the visits; and received a warm welcome by the official representatives, professors and students of the universities. Professor Ana Correia, on behalf of USJ, gave a brief introduction of USJ and has taken the opportunity to propose future academic exchanges in various levels between the universities, aiming to help professors and students of the two places to understand each other’s culture better. The proposal was welcomed by the representatives of the universities, especially the Portuguese education program. Students responded enthusiastically and raised questions on the spot. Very encouragingly, the visits have laid a solid foundation for the cooperation and exchanges between USJ and the universities in the future.
Throughout this trip, the delegates visited a number of famous scenic spots of Xi’an, including the world famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses (the eighth major wonder of the World), the Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang, the historical sites of Chang’an of the Tang Dynasty, the Ming Great Wall, the Shaanxi History Museum, the Banpo Museum, the Great Wild Goose Pagoda and the Kwong Yan Temple. They also went around shopping at the Moslem Street nearby the Bell and Drum Towers. What’s more interesting, the delegates also had the opportunity to taste the Dumpling Feast and watch the gorgeous imitated version of the Tang Dynasty dance performance. Being able to visit the historical sites of Xian in person, the delegates were deeply impressed by the influence of the history and culture of Xi’an on the development of the Chinese culture.
The 5-day tour was full of laughter and fun. All members have been impressed by the depth and the sophistication of the Chinese traditional culture after witnessing the historical sites of ancient China, the architectural cultural relics, and the modern culture and the folkways. Members hope that USJ and AAUSJ will have a deeper level of communication and cooperation with the universities in Xi’an in the future.
Other members who joined were Benjamin Yue, Vice-Chairman of the General Assembly, Joyce Tang and Addy Chan, President and Vice-President of the Executive Committee of the AAUSJ.