The ‘New Year Resonance’ of International Students in China: Serving as Ambassadors for Cross-Cultural Exchange

“I have always wanted to write a poem about China under the moonlight. I love her tranquil appearance and the powerful strength within her gentleness. In the night, she is dressed in silver, like the blooming of countless snowflakes, exuding the fragrance of plum blossoms…” On the evening of December 22nd, students from Inner Mongolia University of Technology, including Qina (齐娜) from Kyrgyzstan, Kafra (卡夫拉) from Tajikistan, and Bilig (毕力贡) from Mongolia, passionately recited “China Under the Moonlight,” earning rounds of applause.

That night, the “Perceive China, Gather in Inner Mongolia” New Year Gala for international students in China, co-hosted by the Information Office of the People’s Government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the Education Department of the Autonomous Region, and organized by Inner Mongolia Normal University, was brilliantly staged. Over 400 international students in China attended the live performance.

The gala kicked off with the classic national song and dance “Hymn” presented by the Inner Mongolia Art Theater Song and Dance Troupe, igniting the entire concert hall with an exhilarating opening performance. Exciting Russian dance “Blossom,” Morin Khuur solo “Black Steed,” poetry recitation “China in Autumn,” choir performance “Mutual Love”… Students from Inner Mongolia University, Inner Mongolia Normal University, Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Inner Mongolia University of Technology, and Inner Mongolia Medical University passionately performed a variety of wonderful artistic programs, creating a touching panorama of cultural exchange among civilizations.

Sugmaa (苏嘎日玛), a Mongolian student from Inner Mongolia Medical University, performed a Morin Khuur solo titled “Black Steed.” As the music played, the resonant sound of the Morin Khuur vividly portrayed the galloping of a spirited steed. Students from Inner Mongolia Normal University presented a dance titled “Flowers in Full Bloom,” depicting a picturesque scene of a riverside residence in southern China. Audience member Lu Yi (卢一) commented, “The performances are truly splendid and emotional, especially considering how the international students appreciate Chinese culture so delicately. Today, I feel like I’ve been transported to the water towns of southern China.”

Yana (娅娜), a Russian international student at Inner Mongolia Normal University, and Gao Fei (高飞), a Togolese international student, jointly performed a poetry recitation titled “China in Autumn.” Yana said, “As the poem says, ‘In the autumn of China, firm, confident, mature, and composed,’ I really like this aspect of China. I hope to participate in such exchange activities regularly and become a messenger of cultural exchange between nations.”

Peace, friendship, communication, and cooperation. The 90-minute gala concluded after the Inner Mongolia Art Theater actors’ performance of “Harmony,” with the sentimental singing lingering in the music hall, resonating in the hearts of every audience member.

Civilization becomes colorful through exchanges, and enriched through mutual learning. Qu Yuan, Secretary of the Party General Branch of the International Exchange College of Inner Mongolia Normal University, said, “As we bid farewell to the old and welcome the new, international students from different countries and regions gather in Inner Mongolia to sing and dance, creating a special atmosphere. The gala provides everyone with a platform to showcase themselves and also helps enhance the understanding of traditional Chinese culture among international students, promoting cultural exchanges between countries and contributing to the construction of a community with a shared future for humanity.”

Since 2022, the Education Department of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region and the Foreign Affairs Office of the Party Committee of the Autonomous Region have organized foreign students and teachers in Inner Mongolia to actively participate in activities such as the “My View of China – Smart Living” short video competition, “My View of China – Colorful Folk Customs” short video competition, and the “Chinese Character Fate” International Story Conference. At the same time, they have jointly organized the ninth International Student Chinese Essay Competition with the Information Office of the People’s Government of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

International students in China are both listeners and narrators of Chinese stories. Currently, Inner Mongolia universities offer Chinese language and general knowledge courses for international students and actively engage in education on outstanding Chinese traditional culture and customs. Based on the characteristics of each university, they focus on cultural themes, create brand events, organize international students to participate in various Chinese cultural practice activities, and conduct experiences in Peking opera, Tai Chi, archery, Go, tea culture, and more. They also organize visits to local museums, exhibition halls, modern enterprises, communities, and experiences of Chinese traditional festivals and customs.

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