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JH’s World Youth Forum
Post Time: 04/09/2018

      On the morning of August 26, the World Youth Forum of the Songxi Session of the Jinhua Homestay (JH) was held in the village of Songxi, Pujiang. About 100 outstanding domestic and international youths discussed and presented ideas on the theme “Happiness is the Result of Struggle.” Among the participants were Zhejiang University sophomore Li Chenxiao, WWDC18 scholarship winner and StepBeats founder; Guo Yang, CEO of Hangzhou-based Zaofengchina.com, and other six outstanding youths representing Pujiang.

The Chinese representatives focused on the idea of happiness as a dream which can be realized by effort.

      Guo Yang shared a story of himself trying to contact Jack Ma. As a freshman at the age of 19, he wanted to burst into Ma’s office, hoping to invite him to Zhejiang University to give a speech on charity. “I had interviewed more than 100 students from Zhejiang University, taking videos of them saying what they thought of Jack Ma,” Guo explained. In order to show this video to Ma, he disguised himself as an Alibaba employee, entered Alibaba building snucking through three layers of security. He was unable to meet Ma but managed to show the video to a senior executive, who eventually posted a note on Alibaba’s intranet saying, “Mr. Ma, I was touched by an 18-year-old fellow from Zhejiang University,” and informed him that there were over 3000 people hoping to see “Jack Ma showing up for a speech.” In the end, Ma was unable to present at Zhejiang University, but a PhD at Alibaba Think Tank gave a speech about charity to the students.

      Thanks to this experience, Guo got to know a group of peers and set up his own Internet company during his sophomore year. In these two years’ time, starting from the platform of Zhejiang University, the company has grown to serve over 300 domestic universities, is used by over 800,000 students.

      Another presentation was given by Li Chenxiao, a student from Zhejiang University. Born in 1997, he was not only a recipient of outstanding youth programs but also initiated a program for youths himself: “Blackboard Newspaper Scholarship.” This scholarship connects the world’s major design teams and organizes exchanges and evaluations every six months, during which participants are encouraged to use blackboards as canvases to compose creative and stunning design plans. Each session provides a number of students with a half-month exchange program at the Apple Human Interface Design Team. “This is the strength of our youth: we strive to initiate vivacity, and we must create more possibilities and opportunities for our future and our partners,” Li explained.

      Wu Min, from the organization department of the Pujiang Party Committee, took the stage as a representative of Pujiang youths and shared his concept of happiness. He quoted President Xi’s saying “Never forget where you came from to accomplish your mission.” Youths, Wu explained, should stand up for what they believe in and not fear failure; the attempt is worth it. This experience will definitely lead to happiness.

      Wei Shan, an English teacher at Pujiang High School, talked about her experience and concluded that “Happiness is cherishing the present.”

      Ashish Kothekar, Indian participant of the Songxi Session, gave a speech titled “Hard Work is the Source of Happiness.” He said that according to Indian tradition, people must devote themselves to fulfilling their responsibilities, regardless of whether the final result is success or failure. “If your happiness is based on the outcome of your work, then you are likely to be demotivated because of failure or overexcited because of success. So, the only thing you can do is to accomplish your work and enjoy the process of the work.” In his speech, he used three terms to describe hard work: tan, for the physical effort of work; maan, indicating the mental focus on a task; and dhan, referring to the resources put into work.

      Maximilian Teubert, a JH participant from Germany, is a student at Dresden University of Applied Sciences and explained how struggle can bring about happiness. He believes that only happiness can result in greater success and more efficiency, reducing the fatigue caused by work and culminating in wonderful imaginations becoming reality.

      Mangisa Yanga, a JH participant from Walter Sisulu University in South Africa, shared a story of himself and other two JH participants during the Songxi Session: “Happiness is the outcome of struggles. We couldn’t have participated in the Jinhua Homestay without having worked hard. And we wouldn’t have met all the other participants.” Yanga explained that when applying, they needed to work very hard to earn one of the three slots available.

      After listening to Li Chenxiao’s presentation, Ashish confirmed that both Indian and Chinese youths show persistence in their work in the fields of Internet, science, and technology. “Both for individuals and teams, happiness is the result of hard work and struggle. After putting maximum effort into achieving a goal, one will feel happy.” (By Chen Rui, translated by Marco Lovisetto, edited by Kendra Fiddler)

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