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Yuen Lok Yi, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine

Programme: Dail's Multi-Cultural and Social Innovation Camp

Partner Institution: Yunnan University

Period: July 18—26, 2023

Having recently completed the Yunnan cultural trip as part of my university studies, I have gained a newfound appreciation for the rich tapestry of China's ethnic minorities. This immersive experience allowed me to build a broader and more diverse vision of China, fostering my understanding of the nation's cultural landscape. From meeting Yunnan University students who study Ethnology and learning the history of Ethnology in Yunnan University to sampling the unique cuisine of the Dai and Bai ethnic groups, this trip has been an eye-opening journey into the heart of China's cultural heritage.


During the Yunnan cultural trip, it was particularly fascinating to engage with the local students from Yunnan University, many of whom were studying Ethnology. Through our discussions, I learned about the intricacies of Yunnan's history and the ways in which these diverse ethnic groups have contributed to the fabric of Chinese society. Moreover, by experiencing the traditional cuisine of the Dai and Bai groups firsthand, I was able to gain a deeper appreciation for the distinct flavors and culinary techniques that define these unique cultures.


One of the most valuable personal observations I took away from the program was the importance of language in fostering relationships. As a fluent Mandarin speaker, I found it relatively easy to connect with the local Yunnan students and form meaningful friendships. Without this linguistic skill, my social circle during the trip would have been significantly more limited, and I would not have been able to fully immerse myself in the various activities and experiences on offer.


In conclusion, the Yunnan cultural trip has been an incredibly rewarding and enlightening experience, allowing me to develop a broader vision of China and its ethnic minorities. The hospitality of the local people, coupled with my ability to communicate in Mandarin, has enabled me to forge lasting connections and gain a deeper understanding of Yunnan's rich cultural heritage. As I reflect on my time in Yunnan, I am grateful for the memories and friendships that I will carry with me for years to come.


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