A Dream of Mine — Narrating the Chinese Story in the New Era
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen,
By the time we are born onto this land, our own Chinese story begins. Only when we put our stories together, can we discover something new.
My mom was among the first generation in China to pick up a dual major, trade together with English. Her mom, my grandma, was a professor at the same college. And now, I am following my family’s footsteps, at the same university. I want to accomplish a dream that has been passed on for three generations.
When grandma entered college, she was in the age of prime, but education wasn’t. It was an age when China had a literacy of merely over 50 percent; it was an age when one out of eight got enrolled by a university or college; it was an age when even the top-class universities in China were not recognized by the world. It was with the aspiration of changing education for the better that my grandma became a teacher, in pursuit of teaching students at home and learning more about the abroad.
When my mother crossed the threshold of higher education into college, she was experiencing the tides of the Reform and Opening-up. It was an age when China was ready to embrace the world. With the demand for English talents staying high, she brought her talents to the field of international trade, with the hope of broadening her horizon and telling her international clients a Chinese story.
30 years later, it is already a new era when I step into the classroom where my mom and my grandma studied. The ambience in the renovated classroom is urging me to embark on a new journey; yet on the bookshelf, the books passed on since my grandma’s age is reminding me of a dream that has never changed: becoming a language scholar with a global vision, and be a good narrator of the Chinese story.
I took out my grandma’s notebook, which was already old and gray, trying to learn something new from the past. On the frontpage, wrote one of the earliest Chinese stories, taken from the Great Learning: “If you can do something new, then let it happen every day. With perseverance, every day becomes a new day.”
It was the moment when I realized that there has been something unchanged in the new era: that is always equipping ourselves with the new ideas and keep in pace with the time which never waits. Only by bearing this virtue in our minds that has inherited by the Chinese people for 5,000 years, can we gain both the confidence and the competence in telling a good Chinese story to all.
Tell the Chinese story to the Chinese people, for a new China with cultural confidence; tell the Chinese story to every global citizen, and together we build a community of prosperity, peace, and a shared future. The story of my mom, my grandma and myself will always remind me of the mission of a language learner.
I’m now crossing the threshold into a New Era, and now I fell I am ready to tell a new Chinese story to new audience. Thank you very much!