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Hungarian trip mind-opening for quake pupils
By Zuo Likun (
Updated: 2009-05-13 18:48

Beijing -- Have you ever thought of watching knights' shows in ancient king's castles, riding on horseback on Buda hillsides, and learning Hungarian folk songs from locals?

Those were what 50 students from China's Sichuan province did during their 3-week recuperation trip in the eastern European country last year at the invitation of the Hungary government.


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"That [kind of trip] opens up their minds," Sándor Kusai, the Hungarian Ambassador to China, said in an exclusive interview with China Daily's website Friday morning.

The students' schools in Dujiangyan and Pengzhou cities were in close vicinity to the epicenter of the 8-magnitude quake. Hungary wanted to find a unique way to "express their sympathy and solidarity" with the suffering Chinese, and came up with the idea of a recuperation trip for the traumatized quake zone pupils.

"It was very exciting for them. Most of them have not travelled before by plane even," said Kusai, who invited the pupils to his embassy in Beijing before their flight to his culture-rich motherland.

While attending the Budapest firework ceremony for the Hungarian National Day Holiday on August 20, which dates back over 1,008 years, the students, were "a little bit surprised" to find that their motherland is not the only one with a glaring thousand-year history.

That wasn't the only surprise, as the students learned they were witnessing just one of three different National Day holidays Hungary observes. The mind-opening experiences continued as they visited the Palace of Wonders, a hi-tech fun house where they could learn more about science and the world around them.

The recuperation tutors in Hungary were impressed to find that these well-disciplined Asian school children were easily establishing friendships. They played with Hungarian youth at Balaton Lake youth camp and within a few days were relying less and less on the interpreters, even teaching their country's folk songs to each other

Hungary is currently working on a project to establish friendly sister schools in Sichaun regions, as well as different places in Hungary, according to the ambassador.

"Mostly we are choosing schools where those children visited Hungary," Kusai said. The ambassador hopes the project will enhance the two countries' time-tested friendship, which has witnessed 60 years of mutual understanding ever since the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949.