Cutlural Tour and Welcome Dinner for Yale-NAC
On March 23, Shiu Pong College (SPC) students gathered at a local hotel to welcome students from Yale University, New Asia College (Chinese University of Hong Kong) and Zhongshan University for a cultural tour. This was the second part of SPC participation in the YUNA (Yale University – New Asia College) exchange program.
It rained heavily on the day. Yet, our experienced tour guide lifted our spirit by linking the rain to a cultural belief that rain is actually a welcome message from the city for its special guests.
Traveling on a tour bus, our first stop was the Museum of Macau on Mount Fortress, where we learned fascinating stories about Macau for the first time. The Yale and NAC students were amazed by the many historical ties between Macau and the West. After this we went to the old Protestant Cemetery established by the British East India Company, the resting place for some of the important figures in Macau’s history. I have been living in Macau for about 10 years and yet I never heard of the existence of this cemetery.
Next up was the Ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the remaining part of the 17th-century church after it was destroyed by a fire. For the first time, I noticed the face of the founder on the side. Down from the ruins, we proceeded to Senado Square, the center of Macau, which is always crowded with tourists and shoppers.
On the way back to SPC, we passed by the Macau Tower. The Yale students were shocked by the bungee jumpers diving all the way down from the top of the skyhigh tower. Only one among us on the bus had prior experience of the adrenaline-pumping sport!
Back to the University of Macau (UM), the Yale students were stunned by the extensive size of the UM campus, which, they said, looked like a luxurious mansion instead of a university. They were also surprised by the fact that UM is able to offer all UM students an opportuniy to live in its Residential Colleges since in Yale and NAC there are not enough dorm rooms for their students.
During the dinner gathering at the SPC dining hall, where more SPC students joined us for dinner, we had a special and fun activity, ‘Chinese Paper Cutting’, taught by a talented SPC student. Besides, our guests were also able to try a few famous Portuguese snacks and two very special desserts made by our dear Mrs. Leung, the College Master’s wife.
The activity was a great opportunity to learn from exchanging ideas and experiences with students from other cultures. Establishing connections with others is important for us as learning is not only about studying and reading books. I recommend you all, fellow SPC students, to join this program next year. You will not regret it.
By Ana Macedo