The 2018 Visiting Program for Young Sinologists in Shanghai kicked off on July 9 and will proceed through Friday. Thirty-two Sinologists from 27 countries and regions along with around 30 domestic scholars and Sino-experts joined in the program.
The participants hail from a wide range of research fields including Chinese history, literature and culture, language, society, economy, politics and international relations.
Each will complete a research paper at the end of the program under the guidance of Chinese tutors from local academic institutions such as Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, East China Normal University, Fudan University, Tongji University and Shanghai International Studies University.
Established experts in Shanghai were also invited to give lectures on various themes ranging from studies on the culture and history of China and China's reform and opening-up policy, to China's foreign policy, the rule of law and the economy.
Young Sinologists were given access to large-scale construction and manufacturing projects such as Shanghai Tunnel Engineering Co and the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China. They also had the opportunity to take a closer look at local residential life by visiting neighborhoods and community centers.
The organizer arranged visits to the site of the First National Congress of the Communist Party of China, historic Xintiandi and a day-trip to Chongming Island to help them understand local culture and history.
Visiting Sinologists at a lecture on July 17.
American visiting Sinologist Rachel Ann Hulvey, a PhD student from the University of Pennsylvania, fell in love with Chinese language and culture because of her Chinese friend living in New York. She gradually started paying attention to Sino-US relations.
Hulvey obtained a scholarship to study Chinese in Beijing. As a PhD student, she currently majors in international relations with a focus on China. Her research field is China's internet security.
The program peer has arranged wonderful lectures for us to really understand the variety and richness of what it means to be a Sinologist, Hulvey said.
It's apparent how innovative China is as soon as you set foot in Shanghai. You can see the people of Shanghai using their phones for payments, Hulvey added.
After she returns to the US, Hulvey will maintain relations with the scholars and experts she met in the program and deepen cooperation with them. The beauty of this program is this cooperative effort among scholars between the United States and China. And we have so many different countries' representatives through this program, so not only those two [countries] but globally speaking now we all enter a deeper cooperation, Hulvey told the Global Times.
Rachel Ann Hulvey from the US.
Mysterious to the world
Mira Ahmed, 33, is a literature translator from Egypt. This was her second visit to China and the first visit to Shanghai. She chose Chinese language and literature as her majors at university and became a translator of Chinese literature into Arabic.
Her first translation of a Chinese novel was Lao She's Luotuo Xiangzi (Rickshaw Boy), which she completed while she was a sophomore. Over the past few years, she translated several other Chinese novels including Lu Xun's Kuangren Riji (Diary of a Madman) and Bi Feiyu's Tuina (Massage).
I think participating in the Visiting Program for Young Sinologists will be helpful to my translation and research work, because I can get to know much more about China through the program, Ahmed said.
If you want to know a country, you have to first take a look at the nation's literature, said Ahmed. When I go back to my country, I will introduce the places that I visited in China to the Arabian countries' readers. I became more and more obsessed in China's ancient culture and long history.
I always think China is mysterious to the world. By translating Chinese literature, I can uncover the secret to the world. So I will continue my mission of translation when I go back home, Ahmed added.
Mira Ahmed from Egypt.
Strengthen cultural exchange
Elyor Makhmudov, dean of the Faculty of Economy of Foreign Countries and Country Study at Tashkent State Institute of Oriental Studies in Uzbekistan, has visited China three times.
I chose this program because I can gain new knowledge, make new friends and introduce myself. The professors' lectures are very interesting. I can get new information which I can use in my research and in my lectures in my country, and share my knowledge with my students, Makhmudov said.
Hosted by China's Ministry of Culture and Tourism and organized by Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences since 2014, the program is an annual event that aims to strengthen cultural exchanges and set up a platform for young Sinologists worldwide to communicate and learn more about Chinese culture and history.
Elyor Makhmudov from Uzbekistan.
Young Sinologists at a lecture.