Armene (2nd right, front row) has a trip with friends in Tianjing. [Photo/Qianlong]
During this Labor Day holiday, Armene gathered friends of him to set off their trip. This time the destination was Tianjin.
As long as he is free or at leisure, Armene always choose to play around China or at least in 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 and also hopes to be understood by the people of this country.
Armene, an international student of North China University of Technology, is from the Republic of Rwanda, a country in the mid-eastern Africa. The nearly 1.9-meter-tall young man is attracted to come 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 arts, but after he came, he discovered many Chinese people play Tai Chi to keep fit.
He is aware that 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, famine, disease and 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 everyone knows that I’m a Rwandese, 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 which sport he 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 his expectation, he was crowned with 1.91m 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 at North China University of Technology and Armene is looking forward to playing a bigger role in the union and making more friends.
“In this open and inclusive city of Beijing, I meet people from around the world. I can play basketball with my fellows from South America, share a dorm with a Russian and go out with European friends. I have a chance to know their thoughts, customs, cultures, and also a chance to have myself and my country Rwanda introduced to them.” This is Armene’s biggest wish and gain in Beijing.
Armene displays Chinese calligraphy he writes at North China University of Technology. [Photo/Qianlong]
Armene sits among children during 2014 World Tai Chi 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 North China University of Technology. [Photo/Qianlong]