In ancient times, Chengdu was famous for its magnificent landscape and rich culture, and has long been a hub of exchanges, connecting China to the rest of the world. Today, the host city of the 31st FISU World University Games is still spreading seeds of cultural exchanges among the young people.
Amid the fierce competition of the Games, student-athletes toured the city to experience the leisure and the ancient charm and vitality of the capital of southwest China’s Sichuan Province.
Eduard Zdenovec of the Czech Technical University in Prague, who had just finished competing in the judo competition, was impressed by the variety of traditional Chinese cultural experiences, such as shuttlecock kicking, and Touhu (arrow throwing), at the Wangjianglou Park.
“Chengdu is a very beautiful city, and all the people here are very warm,” Zdenovec said.
In order to make guests from around the world feel the unique charm of local culture, the Executive Committee of the Chengdu Universiade connected 16 key cultural exchange activities into 11 urban cultural sightseeing experience routes.
As the hometown of giant pandas, Sichuan has attracted many international athletes who were keen to have a close look at giant pandas besides participating in the Games.
At the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, college athletes from Colombia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and other countries took out their mobile phones to take photos and videos of the giant pandas, and some couldn’t help but make video calls with their families to share the “moving” pandas they saw.
“It’s so cute! I never thought I could see a real panda. I really want to hug it,” said Ana Maria Zapata, a Colombian women’s volleyball player. She and her teammates were fascinated by giant pandas even before they came to China. Although they just lost to the Japanese women’s volleyball team the day before, the lovely giant pandas made the players completely forget the result of the competition.
Since the launch of the cultural tourism activities on July 29, thousands have signed up to participate.
Kanykei Kubanychbekova, a shooting player from Kyrgyzstan, said that a walk on the streets of Chengdu made her realize that China is a country where history and modernity blend.
Since its inception, the World University Games has always been a celebration of youth, solidarity, and friendship, where young people can view diversity from an equal, inclusive, and friendly perspective, and see different cultures with an attitude of mutual appreciation and mutual learning.
Wang Bingshen, who is from Sichuan International Studies University, served as a language service volunteer during the FISU Games. While communicating with foreign athletes, he felt that the event has given people from across the world a chance to communicate face to face, and many foreign young athletes have changed their understandings of China.
This experience also made Wang deeply understand that university students all over the world are actually alike.
“We are all energetic young people. We could find similar musical tastes, and be happy with the same things,” said Wang. “We would also joke together, and talk about difficult exams and interesting experiences as well.”

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Source : Xinhua