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Never too old to learn: 86-year-old in SW China pursues lifelong learning
From:ChinaDaily  |  2021-10-15 16:35

Wang Dakang, a celebrity in his hometown of Leshan city in Southwest China's Sichuan province for his inspirational life story, is a model of lifelong learning, Chengdu-based Red Star News reported on Wednesday.

Wang, aged 86, was born in 1935 in the town of Mouzi. In the 1980s, he became the first person in China to accomplish a round trip of the country using only a bicycle.

From Leshan, he cycled China's 29 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions between 1981 and 1984. Over the course of 1,278 days, he traveled more than 60,000 kilometers and later was invited to write his experience into a book. However, his manuscript was at first rejected for revision.

In order to better edit his book for publication, Wang, who was a middle school graduate, decided to continue his studies and go to college. At the age of 61, he enrolled at Sichuan Normal College in Sichuan province in 1996 and majored in journalism.

His path for knowledge did not stop there. In 2000, Wang began his graduate studies in the same college and studied travel literature. In 2008, he was admitted into Leshan Normal University as an undergraduate majoring in music and graduated in 2012.

His purpose of learning had changed from writing a better book to acquiring knowledge, according to Wang.

Wang's 560,000-word book detailing his trip in the 1980s was finally published in 2016.

At present, Wang lives in his home in a village in Leshan, where he spends his days following carefully planned routines.

Every morning, Wang gets up at 4:30 am to exercise for half an hour. His study starts at 6 am, during which he will read and take notes from People's Daily, a leading newspaper in China, followed by writing in his diary.

Other daily activities include practicing calligraphy, learning English, riding his bicycle and playing musical instruments.

"Right now I just feel there's not enough time every day as there is so much to learn," Wang said. "I want to continue learning as I grow older and I will study until the very end," he added.

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