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World campers didn't want to leave!
By:Wang Jiaye  |  From:english.eastday.com  |  2019-07-31 13:31

It’s hard to say goodbye...The 15th Shanghai International Youth Interactive Friendship Camp concluded in Shanghai on the night of July 25, 2019 with smiling photos, weeping hugs as well as splendid performances.

Australian girl Madison Drake spoke on behalf of the foreign campers at the closing ceremony. When she started in Chinese, a little clumsy but truly sincere, by saying the names of the camp hosts, the Shanghai People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Shanghai Youth Federation, she gained encouraging smiles and warm applause from the audience.

Australian camper Madison Drake

"The first thing we learned [at the camp] is we have to communicate. Some of us started out shy but slowly we could be more comfortable. We have more appreciation for traditional arts and crafts, and better understand the value of talking and sharing", said Drake, expressingthe campers’ gratitude to all the tutors, staff, volunteers and homestay families.

The US tutor Lynn Eisenhauer made a speech on behalf of the foreign tutors. "I believe, our future depends on our ability to connect with one another. By seizing the opportunity to learn and grow through our friendships, we will also change the world", she noted, telling teenagers present that "the future is yours. Continue to say yes to opportunities and know that the friendships you have made here will lift you up as you create the change you want to see in the world."  

The US tutor Lynn Eisenhauer

Liu Hao, a student from the High School affiliated to Shanghai University spoke on the stage as a representative of the Chinese campers.

Chinese camper Liu Hao

This year, the more than 120 campers and their tutors came from the following twenty countries: Australia, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, China, Germany, Japan, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Panama, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago and the United States.

During the 10-day camp, teenagers experienced traditional Chinese culture and folk arts, showcased the features of their countries at the International Youth Cultural Expo, became honorary Shanghainese in their homestays, communicated with local peers at the Shanghai Paddington Bilingual School inFengxian district, visited famousShanghai places such as Zhujiajiao water town and the Oriental Pearl Radio & TV Tower, and journeyed around the city on the Huangpu River, by maglev train and on foot in the “I love Shanghai” orienteering competition.

At the closing ceremony, campers from eight foreign countries presented their performances emerging from the previous selective trial.

Muanlai, Thailand

Panamanian Song, Panama

 Kolo-traditional dance, Serbia

“Kalinka”, Russia

Bolivian Carnival, Bolivia

Aotearoa, New Zealand

Trini to de bone, Trinidad and Tobago

Be the Change, the United States

Chinese campers sing and dance in Han clothes.

Martial Art by Shangyang Foreign School

Dance, “Song to Heaven”, bythe Putuo District Youth Center

Students dance in a circle.

The representatives of the campers and volunteers were awarded certificates by Mr. Xu Su, director and deputy Party Secretary of the Shanghai Youth Centre, Ms. Wu Lingyu, secretary of the Party Working Committee for Education in Putuo District, and Ms. Shi Yichan, deputy secretary of the Shanghai Youth League.

Russian campers who had just completed their performance exited from backstage and said with their ragged breathing that the camp was really cool and they all made a lot of friends. When it was coming to an end, there were so many emotionsin their heart.

When looking back on the camp, Romanian tutor, Mînzu Ioana-Florina, said at the very beginningshe had no idea what wouldit be like, but afterwards she felt many pleasant surprises. "Now we don't want to go home", she laughed.

Ms. Jing Ying announces the closing of the 15th Shanghai International Youth Interactive Friendship Camp, "Welcome to Shanghai again!"

From the second half of the closing ceremony, the first batch of the campers and their tutors had to bid farewell to their counterparts to go to the airport. Scenes of hugging, group photos, signing and tearful farewellscould be seen everywhere around the venue.

Starting from 2005, the Shanghai International Youth Interactive Friendship Camp, with the theme of Peace, Friendship and Future, has been playing an active role in promoting mutual understanding and friendship between youth in Shanghai and from all over the world.

Videos by Xia Yinfei, Wang Jiaye
Photos by Yu Jianhao, Lin Chunyue
Story by Wang Jiaye