SHENZHEN, China: A group of about 100 youths from Malaysia touched down at Hong Kong International Airport Tuesday to begin their two-week cultural exchange trip to China.
Upon arrival, participants who were divided into ten groups boarded three coaches to Shenzhen which lies directly north of Hong Kong.
They are on a Malaysia-China Youth Exchange Programme 2012 which is organised by KTS Group of Companies as part of the events to commemorate its 50th anniversary.
Having had to wake up at 4.30am to catch a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Hong Kong, participants were sleepy and tired.
Despite that, they were excited to be given the remarkable opportunity to join the programme, one that could possibly change lives by discovering more about oneself and others as well as gain knowledge through inter-cultural learning experiences.
Trainee teacher Emmee Kueh, 20, hopes to learn more about languages, cultures, and traditions through observation, socialisation and experience.
“I want to gain as much knowledge that can benefit me in serving the community in the future,” she said.
Another participant Andrew Siaw, who is a fresh graduate, wants to use this trip as a stepping stone to his professional goals.
“I feel that it is important to have a fresh look at what is happening around the world. And I believe this trip is paramount to develop a good connection with the world’s largest economy and biggest exporting country,” said the 24-year-old from Sarikei.
“This would enable me to explore opportunity for future entrepreneurship with China that would bring great benefit to Sarawak,” he added.
With much hope that participants can gain knowledge that would make them better citizens, KTS Group representative Alex Ting hopes to share his experience upon returning.
Having just moved back here earlier this year, the 32-year-old from Sibu, who spent most of his life in New Zealand, also intends to widen his social circle.
Besides Ting, another staff Benny Lau, 37, hopes to gain more exposure through the exchange to improve his management skills.
“Hopefully, it will also help with developing new ideas and strategies for business purposes,” he added.
Meanwhile, the group visited the Splendid China Folk Culture Village late afternoon after arrival and spent the rest of the day in the theme park – ‘Walking into history by one step, and travelling all around China by one day’.
However, due to limited time, they did not manage to explore the whole theme park but did not miss watching the two large scale cultural performances there.
Located across the border with Hong Kong, Shenzhen has grown from a small fishing village to a modern metropolis of over 12 million after the first Special Economic Zone in China was established there in 1978.
In less than 33 years, it has become one of the country’s most vibrant cities.
Also, Shenzhen is the leading city in China for high technology manufacturing and new business ventures and is rapidly emerging as a transportation and logistics centre.
KTS Group is committed to educating engaged citizens who will impact their communities at home and abroad especially through its contribution towards the development of Chinese education, economy and every aspects of growth in the Chinese communities.
The Group is very concerned about the growth of our community which is emphasised in its motto ‘We Care, We Grow’.
As such, the organiser hopes that participants will develop new skills and gain broader perspective of the world while building meaningful and lasting connections with the people they meet along the way.
Yesterday, the youth group visited a tourism attraction called the OCT East Resort of Shenzhen, which is a one-stop manmade holiday destination.
It is a combination of two large theme parks, resort hotels, three small scenic towns, golf courses and more covering an area of 9 square kilometres.
The youth group will depart for Xiamen today for the second leg of the trip followed by Fuzhou, Mingqing, Yiwu, Suzhou, and Shanghai before ending the trip in Hong Kong.