Dawit Amsalu Amanuel is from Ethiopia and he is proud of it. "Ethiopia is a landlocked country divided by the Great Rift Valley. Its history and culture can be found in archaeological discoveries dating back three million years."
"Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic country. Among the 86 indigenous languages of Ethiopia, the official one is Amharic. I can only speak two of my country's languages, but now I can also speak Chinese," Dawit said with a smile.
Jinhua: A wonderful city
Dawit feels that Jinhua is like his second home since it has given him an amazing life experience. "For me, Jinhua is a wonderful city."
Dawit was invited to participate in the zongzi-making event held by the local committee last year, "I made zongzi with the local ladies, folding the leaves, filling them with glutinous rice, adding candied jujubes, and tying ropes around them. Mine were not as beautiful as the ones they made, but I will never forget the experience of making zongzi with my own hands."
Dawit said that Chinese culture is very different from Ethiopia's. However, although he is a foreigner, his teachers and friends treat him very well and have made him feel that foreigners are not different from Chinese and those cultural differences are not obstacles to friendship.
Do as the Jinhuanese and help others
"The Chinese say 'conform to local customs,' which seems to be four simple words, but they actually embed a very rich connotation," Dawit said. He pointed out that he does his best to do as the locals do. When he first arrived in Jinhua, he was not feeling well because of the five-hour time difference. It was a challenge for him to get up every morning at the beginning.
During the epidemic, Dawit took the initiative to help teachers and international students, volunteering to help teachers distribute food to international students every day, and was praised by his teachers and classmates.
"During the epidemic, the school administration was very concerned about international students. Teachers protected our safety while doing a good job at epidemic prevention and control. At the same time, they also prepared online lessons so that we had something to do on campus. They delivered food to us every day. This moved me to the point that I also wanted to do something for the school and the students."
In addition, Dawit took pictures of campus and recorded videos to upload to the internet, encouraging those around him to support China and fight the pandemic together. "I think the videos I made are not simple recordings of past moments, but also a transmission of beautiful friendship."
Dawit is currently studying international trade, and he hopes to do more trade-related work in the future. "Alibaba is now also cooperating with Ethiopia. Maybe when I return home, I will have the opportunity to apply my expertise in the field."
Dawit explained that after graduation, he first wants to continue his studies, "I hope I can go to Zhejiang Normal University to get a master degree in this major, learn intensively and thoroughly, and have better opportunities after returning to Ethiopia."
(Text by Sheng Zan, photos by Dawit Amsalu Amanuel, translated by Marco Lovisetto, edited by Kendra Fiddler)