Armene (2nd right, front row) has a trip with friends in Tianjing. [Photo/Qianlong]
In this Labour’s Day holiday, Armene gathered friends of him to set off their trip. This time the destination was Tianjin.
As long as he is free and at leisure, Armene always choose to play around China or at least Beijing, depending on how long a holiday is. “I’ve been to many cities of China, like Shenyang, Ningbo, Xiamen and Shenzhen... When in Beijing, I walk at least 20km on every weekend.”
He hopes to understand more about China, also hopes to be understood by people of this country.
Armene, an international student of the North China University of Technology, is from the Republic of Rwanda, a country in the mid-eastern Africa. The nearly 1.9-meter-tall black man is attracted to Beijing by China’s fast growth. Now he speaks fluent mandarin.
Before he came, he thought every Chinese people is a master of martial art, after he came he discovered Chinese people play Tai Chi to keep fit.
He is aware of similar wrong perceptions of his country do exist among Chinese people.
“On my arrival in China, people only knew that I come from Africa, and poverty, famishment, disease, instability are impressions on Africa in many of their minds...they knew little what Africa really looks like, let alone knew each of the countries. I hope the image of Africa and Rwanda becomes plump because of me, I want that everyone knows I’m a Rwandese, learns about Rwanda boasts beautiful landscape, Rwanda’s representative sport is high jump, and Rwanda attaches great importance to woman’s rights in finding a job. ”
Therefore, Armene chooses to become an intern reporter at China Investment during his after-school time. He has interviewed African ambassadors to China on hot topics such as medical care and infrastructure, “I hope to spread the real situation of Africa with my pen,” Armene said.
And of course, he does more than being an intern reporter.
Once during a school sport meeting, his teacher hoped that Armene could compete in a contest. Without knowing clearly what sport himself is good at, Armene picked up randomly high jump, which is the most popular sport in his country, but which he had never real done before in a formal sport meeting. Out of the expectation, he was crowned with 1.91-meters’ height. The “one-hit jump” made his fame.
In the following days, he took part in Beijing Foreigner Basketball Match for twice. As a team leader of the International Student Basketball Team of his school, he led the team to enter the final eight in 2016 Beijing Foreigner Basketball Match.
Because of the match and his openness and friendliness, Armene and his country are being known by many friends, Chinese or people from other countries.
Now, the International Student Union is taking shape in the North China University of Technology, Armene is looking forward to playing bigger role for the union and making more friends.
“In this open and inclusive city of Beijing, I meet people from throughout world, I can play basketball with my fellows from South America, share a dorm with a Russian, and go out with European friends. I’ve the chance to know their thoughts, customs, cultures, and also the chance to have myself and my country Rwanda introduced to them.” This is both the top wish and biggest gain of Armene in Beijing.
Armene displays Chinese calligraphy he writes at the North China University of Technology. [Photo/Qianlong]
Armene sits among children during the 2014 World Taijiquan Championships. [Photo/Qianlong]
Armene participates in a high jump competition during the 2016 sports meeting of North China University of Technology. [Photo/Qianlong]
Armene performs traditional Rwandese dance at 2015 African Eve. [Photo/Qianlong]
Armene takes part in 2015 Beijing International Students 3 vs 3 Basketball Game on behalf of the North China University of Technology. [Photo/Qianlong]