Bangladeshi and Chinese youths here on Thursday vowed to work as "Ambassadors of Friendship" with much more close cooperation and exchanges to contribute to better future of the two countries and help grow them in a faster pace.
They made the promise during their informal discussion as part of 'Bangladesh-China Youth Camp 2017 being held on the Yunnan University campus in Kunming, which is famous as the "City of Eternal Spring".
Two members of Bangladesh youth delegation Fatema-tuz Zohra and Shubra Barua - planted a tree on the campus as a sign of growing friendship between the two countries, and vowed to promote people-to-people and cultural ties.
Though the youth camp activities began on Tuesday, the formal opening ceremony was held at the lecture hall of Foreign Languages School of the Yunnan University in the morning.
The venue was nicely decorated with Bangladesh and Chinese flags giving a warm welcome to visiting delegation members.
Speaking on the occasion, Yunnan University Vice-president Prof Dr Zhang Li said he firmly believes youths' experiences here will help them know more about rich Chinese culture, colourful Yunnan and develop friendship on this dynamic university campus.
"I hope you’ll become the Ambassadors of Friendship between Bangladesh and China," he said.
Prof Li said Yunnan Province is a close neighbour of Bangladesh with less than a three-hour journey by air and its capital Kunming stands as the gate to South Asia and Southeast Asia offering many opportunities.
He said since 2012, Kunming has been hosting China-South Asia Expo.
The university Vice-president said the 2017 Youth Camp is one of the achievements of Chinese President Xi's visit to Bangladesh last year.
"People-to-people contact as well as economic cooperation between Bangladesh and China is growing every year," he said.
Chairperson of English Language Programme and the Student Advisor of the Institute of Modern Languages in Bangladesh Prof Dr Shaila Sultana said the students of Yunnan University in their red T-shirts, their big friendly smiles, sincerity, kindness and generosity won their hearts.
"The magnificent campus of Yunnan University, its grandiosity, its architectural excellence, and its spectacular landscape, and the lustrous greenery, the crisps wind, and the mild weather of Kunmin city itself, and not to mention, its scrumptious and delectable mouth-watering food – have won my heart. I believe other Bangladeshi students have the same feeling. Kunmin, no wonder, is famous as the "City of Eternal Spring," she said.
Prof Shaila said Bangladeshi youths need to be involved in this sort of camp even more. "Specifically, in the context of Bangladesh, because of their socio-economic conditions and compromised life trajectories, many students don’t have exposures to world languages and cultures."
Students from diverse educational background such as music, drama, English and French languages, business studies, and even from nuclear engineering are taking part in the Youth Camp.
"Hence, this effort of the Chinese government and Confucius Institutes is praiseworthy. These students go beyond their respective field of education and become interested to learn more about the Chinese language and culture," she said.
Cultural Attache at the Chinese Embassy in Dhaka Zha Mingwei said the Yunnan University carefully organises this exchange programme that makes all Bangladesh youth camp members feel at home.
"Through different meaningful programmes, Bangladeshi students learn Chinese and get to know China. Many of them already asked me how to study in China and other details about China. I think after the two-week exchange programme, Yunnan will be their second home and China will be their second dream, which Bangladesh golden dream is first. Maybe in the future, these two dreams will be combined by these youths," he added.
Talking to UNB, Estella, a Chinese student at the Yunnan University, said, "I feel privileged to be an ambassador of friendship between our two countries. Bangladesh and Chinese people all are friendly. We all love peace. So, I think the youth camp can help the people of our two nations get closer."
Dhaka University student Shahan Kamal Uday who sang wonderful songs in Bangla and Chinese languages with his friend Urmi Nitol said they are here to learn more about China and its rich culture.
He said they will work to make people-to-people relations between the two countries much stronger in the coming days.
"I’ll definitely share my experience with my friends in Bangladesh. We hope this exchange programme will continue in the coming years to strengthen friendship between the two countries," Intishar Karim, a member of Bangladesh youth delegation told, reports UNB.
Chinese Language teacher at the North South University MMA Rahman Nahid shared his story on why and when he fell in love with Chinese language.
A 150-member Bangladeshi youth delegation arrived here on Monday to attend the Bangladesh-China Youth Camp as part of the ongoing efforts to strengthen people-to-people contact and cultural ties between the two countries.
Bangladesh and China have dedicated 2017 as the Year of Friendship and Exchanges between the two countries when Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Bangladesh on October14-15, 2016 seeking a promising future.
China will train 500 Chinese-language teachers for Bangladesh and 100 Bangladeshi cultural professionals, and invite 600 Bangladeshi students to visit China during 2016 to 2020.
This is the first such student delegation from Bangladesh to China.
Members of the delegation, drawn from various educational institutions, including Dhaka University, North South University and other universities, colleges and schools from different parts of the country, will visit prominent cultural and historical sites, top educational institutions across Yunnan Province and are expected to call on the prominent figures there.