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Suoyuan 2017 Closing Ceremony
Post Time: 18/07/2017

At the closing ceremony of the fifth session of the Jinhua Homestay, the atmosphere was like a family meeting. International participants, Homestay Plus hosts, domestic volunteers, organizing staff members, and villagers gathered at the Yan Family Ancestral Hall to celebrate the conclusion of the Jinhua journey that began 20 days earlier. In three weeks' time, the journey through Jinhua and Suoyuan brought about beauty, charm, affection, and friendship.

       Zhang Xiangming, deputy president of the Jindong District, said that in just three weeks, the local institutions and residents successfully managed to provide the participants of Suoyuan 2017 with a platform to learn about traditional culture and folk customs. A particular contribution was made by the team of volunteers, who worked directly with and for the participants, creating a bridge of cross-cultural communication that connected Chinese traditional culture and its extensive history to the rest of those gathered together in the village of Suoyuan.

       Ju Shengmin, member of the Party Group of the Jinhua Foreign and Overseas Chinese Affairs Office, thanked all of the participants and volunteers for their contribution and work. The results of their work were presented in the morning: a Suoyuan travel website, a historical architecture brochure, thematic group research, experience-related articles, promotional videos, and publicity materials. Additionally, he reminded all present that the preparatory work for the next session is already in progress: the sixth session of the Jinhua Homestay will take place from September 6-26 in the villages of Shangjing and Siping, both located in Jinhua Development Zone.

       On behalf of the participants of Suoyuan 2017, the Australian Reade Allison shared his experience of life in Suoyuan with the audience.

       He said that despite the short amount of time, there were a great number of exciting and unforgettable experiences. He showed his appreciation for a number of aspects. “The help and opportunities we had here in Suoyuan are our honor and privilege. I would also like to thank those who helped us—those friendly volunteers—because thanks to their help, we were able to rapidly adjust and better fit to life here. I believe that every volunteer is as diligent as our household volunteer Wang Fang, and we are really grateful. More importantly, I would also like to thank the hosts of Home Plus 7. They made me feel the warmth and enthusiasm of being at home. I really want to thank Mr. Yan Genyue and his wife: they are the best Home Plus. Finally, I would like to show my appreciation to my team members: it is thanks to your hard work that our tasks could be successfully accomplished,” he explained.

       On behalf of the Home Plus hosts, Yan Yuejin, manager of the doufu workshop at Xianghui Hall, said that the village's hosts consider the international participants and domestic volunteers their own family members: longing and affection were sincere emotions at the time of farewell, and the desire to keep in touch became a reality.

       The representative for the volunteers, Zhao Jiaqi, expressed sincere appreciation to the event organizers and staff. He thanked them for giving the volunteers this opportunity to serve the project, guide their work, and tolerate and correct their mistakes. The volunteers expressed their sincere appreciation and best wishes for the international participants. After living together for 21 days, joy and devotion filled the volunteers' hearts, moving and surprising them every day. “We will always keep these memories in our hearts,” he said.

       The volunteers also thanked the hosts of Suoyuan's Home Plus. “Your care for all of us made us feel the warmth of home; also because of you, Suoyuan's homestay culture will be transmitted and preserved,” he continued to say.

       At the closing ceremony, Certificates of Envoy of Friendship were given to the participants.

       After the closing ceremony, participants and volunteers entertained the audience with a series of performances, including a martial arts show, which was the result of what the participants and volunteers learned in 21 days;

the song Pengyou (Friend), which was sung by participants, organizers, Jindong District staff members, volunteers, and Home Plus hosts;

A Bollywood dance performed by Indian participants;

and, finally, the project theme song, Chinese Aunt. (By Wang Lei & Wu Qian, translated by Marco Lovisetto, edited by Xiamara Hohman)

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