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Letter of Thanks by 2013 CAYCEF Participants

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Note: The CPAFFC and the China National Committee for the Care of Children (CNCCC) hosted the 1st China-ASEAN Youth Cultural Exchange Festival (CAYCEF) in Beijing from August 1st to 6th 2013, organized by CNCCC Public Service Center. Around 250 young delegates participated in the event. They come from 20 provinces or cities in the Chinese mainland and Taiwan as well as from 10 ASEAN countries including Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Through visits, experience tours, courses and joint performances, young delegates established friendship and deepened understanding with each other. Recently, 10 ASEAN young delegates sent a letter to the CPAFFC, sharing their thoughts of the CAYCEF and expressing gratitude to the hosts and organizer.

To: The Chinese people’s association for friendship with foreign countries
Hi, we are the 10 representatives from each Southeast Asian Country. Our average age is 18 years old and most of us are still studying in high schools. In this hopeful beginning of 2014, we are happy to share an overseas friendship story with you.

In the first week of August in 2013, the 10 countries of ASEAN sent approximately 10 youths to go Beijing, China to join the first “China-ASEAN Youth cultural exchange festival”, which was hosted by “China National Committee for the care of Children”, “Chinese People’s association for Friendship with Foreign Countries” and organized by “CNCCC Public Service Center”. We were hand in hand to represent all of our ASEAN friends who were fortunate to be part of the festival. We are still grateful to have experienced this precious, meaningful and historical grand event.

In the journey, we experienced and touched the four-thousand-year history, culture and wonders of China. Our ASEAN friends got a deep and good impression of the main coordinator Mr. Wu Jiong, the MC Ms. Xu Jing and each instructor from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Although we did not have the same mother tongue, they treated us like a friend and made us feel that we were not alone in the far place away from home.

Actually for us, the most valuable thing was to meet plenty of new friends in life. This kind of new friend is never get old. We were from 10 different countries in ASEAN, speaking different languages, living in a completely different cultural background, with different customs, and educational structures. Hence, the processes of knowing each other, sharing the similarities, celebrating the differences, until accepting each other and becoming friend, are always fresh.

Five months have gone, and 2014 a brand new year has started. Recalling the memories, we thought that after the festival, everybody going back to their own country and continuing their regular lifestyles, our connection would slowly disappear. But it is so amazing that we continue our friendship until now by Internet! Perhaps it is because destiny brought some true friends together. However, there is still an uncertain future of us, but we believe it is beautiful still.

Moreover, we have a group on Facebook with one hundred members and some of us have established a private team called “The ASEAN Youth Summit” to make sure the friendship is still tight with lots of continuing discussions and conversations. We always work hard to increase our international knowledge in real life, and work towards of our shared dream – Reunion!

It is only a pure thought and a dream, which is why we created those things. We are having some thought now, for example: backpacking together to experience the world, and meeting each other on a glorious international stage. We sincerely believe that we will achieve it in someday.

Finally, we feel grateful to all of the organizations like those I have mentioned, and of course the United Nations and other non-governmental organizations. All of you let the world share each other and increase the interest between human to have more positive possibilities. Thank you very much!

 

Warmest regards,

Soon Jian Jun, Brunei
Nguon Sony, Cambodia
Aulia Pratiwi, Indonesia
Khamla Sabpaso, Laos
Lee Set Jin, Malaysia
Myat Min Hein, Myanmar
Mau Romero, Philippines
Zhang Zheng Lin, Singapore
Wannawat Em-ong, Thailand
Nguyn Hà Chi, Vietnam

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