Realities of similarities hit home with Taiwan youths

2024-04-19 08:20:27China Daily Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

In recent years, there has been a popular phrase circulating among young Chinese — "Whose DNA has been stirred up?" — which means being emotionally moved by something that one has been deeply affected by in the past.

Earlier this month, I felt my "DNA" being stirred when I heard 20 students from Taiwan singing the theme song of a movie at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, Guangdong province.

Led by former chairman of the Chinese Kuomintang party Ma Ying-jeou, the students were on an 11-day visit to the mainland, taking in Guangdong and Shaanxi provinces and Beijing, visiting high-tech companies as well as historical and cultural sites.

The Taiwan-made movie, You Are the Apple of My Eye, is a love story of regret set at a university. After its release on the mainland in 2012, it became one of the most popular Taiwan films, along with its theme song.

More than a decade later, I witnessed 20 Taiwan youths singing the theme song Those Years on stage during a fellowship activity at Sun Yat-sen University. Even though I was a journalist appointed to cover all of Ma's visit, I couldn't help but sing along softly.

During the fellowship activity, young people from the mainland and Taiwan also gave various performances including piano recitals and singing popular songs. They also exchanged gifts, with the Taiwan youths receiving annual membership cards for the video streaming website iQiyi.

The heartwarming and harmonious scenes involving the young people from across the Strait were even enough to make some observers forget about the unprecedented tension in recent years. Ma said in his speech at the university that his second mainland visit was aimed at promoting cross-Strait student exchanges, which he emphasized was the "most important purpose of his trip, and the goal I have striven for".

He pointed out that students, because of their common language and similar ages, naturally interacted warmly with each other.

"Besides sharing common interests and trends, students also share the pressures and worries typical of their age," said the former KMT leader. "Although their time spent together was short, everyone quickly established communication channels through WeChat without the need for reminders."

University connections

Peking University was the destination for the second youth exchange event during Ma's visit, where Taiwan youths met with a group of their mainland counterparts who had visited Taiwan in July last year.

After the event at Peking University, the youths from the mainland and Taiwan went to the student canteen for dinner.

There, Peking University student Wu Jiayi and Taiwan youth Liao Shin-hua played piano pieces including Dao Xiang, or Fragrant Rice, and performed a joint piano rendition of the traditional Chinese song Jasmine Flower.

Taiwan singer Jay Chou wrote Dao Xiang for people affected by the devastating Wenchuan earthquake in 2008. Tragically, several days before the Peking University exchange, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck Hualien in Taiwan, killing 10 people and injuring more than 1,000.

It was clear that the Taiwan youths understood they had the sympathy of their mainland counterparts who expressed their concern for people in Taiwan.

At about 10 pm the night before the joint piano performance, I had seen Wu in the lobby of the China World Hotel where Ma and the Taiwan youths were staying. I was touched when I realized that she had traveled into downtown Beijing to rehearse the duet with Liao.

There were many tourists in the lobby around midnight who may have wondered why two musicians were playing at such a late hour. However, they were just two regular students from across the Strait making the effort to rehearse a duet.

Liu Ping-jui, the head of the Taiwan youth group, said the cross-Strait youth exchange had gone smoothly because of the shared language and culture, which allowed discussions on various topics such as history, culture, cuisine, and learning. "Interaction between people is felt with the heart, so the exchanges between young people from both sides of the Strait will not be restricted by too many other factors," Liu said.


Most popular in 24h

MoreTop news


Back to top About Us | Jobs | Contact Us | Privacy Policy
Copyright ©1999-2024 All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
[网上传播视听节目许可证(0106168)] [京ICP证040655号]
[京公网安备 11010202009201号] [京ICP备05004340号-1]