Xinhua Silk Road - Belt and Road Portal, China's silk road economic belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Website Xinhua Silk Road - Belt and Road Portal, China's silk road economic belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road Website
Subscribe CustomBlackClose

Belt & Road Weekly Subscription Form


Research ReportCustomBlackClose

The full edition of the report is available at Xinhua Silk Road Database. You can click the “Table of Content” to have a general understanding of it.

Click on the button below to create your account and get immediate access to thousands of articles.

Start a Free Trial

Xinhua Silk Road Database
News for Outlets

Viewpoint: China, the country of best friends

May 09, 2023

Abstract : This article is contributed by Prasad Edirisinghe, a Sri Lankan officer who followed a training programme for talents of Maritime Silk Road Countries at Huaqiao University, Xiamen, during 2017 to 2018. This article is written based on 10 months of his experiences in China.

It's a usual format as such that my children stare at my body language whenever I watch a news which brings something about China. They notice my smile when the news is something good about China and my defending when the news is not as good. My son was asking me that why I have so strongly fallen in love with China and my friends ask me how China has become my second country. How could I explain to them?

How could I explain to them the way my Chinese language teachers almost cried when I was not able to handle their lessons well and the way she became so cheerful when I was skillfully handling the lessons later… .. How could I explain the way my best friend in Xiamen treated me with noodles (for long life) and rice cake (my favorite) and sweets on my birthday and the lovely way they were looking at me whilst I was handling the chopsticks smartly, just like looking at their daughter…… .. How could I explain the way I was thrilled at the acceptance of common people when I was drinking and eating with them in small restaurants and saw their sincere smiles on their face…How could I explain the happiness of my children when they were playing Sir Lankan folk games with their neighborhood Chinese friends and the way got themselves acquaintance just like their own brothers and sisters .. … How could I explain assistance of the unknown friends who were there at need of hours during my travelling to the different destinations … .. How could I explain the way my Chinese friends worried when I was leaving China and the way they overloaded me with Chinese gifts. At last, how could I explain them the way I worried when some medias from other part of the world were trying to tarnish the image of this great nation. It is a wonderful nation with wonderful people and those who have really  sensed China only can understand the fact that why I have strongly fallen in love with China.

In 2017-2018, I was fortunate to become a student in one of the precious schools which I found in my life; Language and Culture School of Huaqiao University, Xiamen, exploring the wonders of China and most importantly to sense the beautiful minds of Chinese people.

There is a Chinese idiom saying that "A bosom friend afar brings distant lands near" . Virtually China is a country of friendliness and sincerity, and they always extend the warmth welcome to their guests. During my stay in China, I traveled to some beautiful destinations around the county and almost all the people whom I met were very sincere. Hong (her name); a friend whom I met in Xiamen Bai Railway Station, almost missed her express train whilst she was helping me to find my train. Young (his name) whom I met in the road side around my school helped me to shift my stuff from one house to another and never wanted to accept money for the transport delivery. My best friends used to cook dumpling and brought to the school on cultural event days, just like my mother used to cook Milk-rice on cultural days in my country. (However, I still regret as such that I couldn't treat them with Milk Rice). My neighboring family friends were striving to find the freshest fish to cook for my family and they were so happy to see the way we were enjoying their foods. My military friends whom I met in Diyatalawa, Sri Lanka always used to ask me that what I wanted them to bring from China when they were coming back.

However, I am not so unlucky when I found a new idiom been there in China as such that "lucky in your life, only if you are having Chinese friends". When the Easter bomb attack happened in Sri Lanka in 2019, my entire WeChat contact list was illuminated with red dots. Many of the silent friend had tried to contact me to see how I was. When the COVID pandemic was exploited in Sri Lanka in 2020, most of my Chinese friend really worried about me and my country. They were asking about what I wanted. By the time of entire air traffic had been curtailed to Sri Lanka in the beginning of 2020, my best friend in Xiamen had sent me protective masks and I still wonder how those masks were received. Even after 4 years of leaving China, some of my Chinese friends still share good morning greetings, personal events and expecting me to visit them again. Every day I'm blessed with their wishes. Sometimes, I may not meet them forever, however, the memories are portrayed in my mind just like beautiful Chinese painting, just like my childhood memories with the grandma.

During my stay in Jimei, Xiamen, one of the roadside restaurants close to my school where we used to go for dinner and sometimes for lunch. The restaurant was run by a sincere family. Surprisingly, their foods became so delicious day by day and even after roaming around the city for many hours, I used to rush to this restaurant for dinner. In weekends, I used to have late dinner chatting with them and people around and I was so thrilled when they understood my Chinese. Over the period of time, their foods were not strange to me at all. Latter I realized the reasons behind those delicious foods. The gentleman and his family had been carefully studding our body language whilst we were having meals and based on that they had customized the taste according to our preferences which exactly my mother had done during my childhood. I will not be able to forget such wonderful Chinese people forever.

Once, I was travelling with my family, I stopped at a souvenir shop just at the entrance to the Mr. Tan Kah Kee Memorial Garden, Jimei, Xiamen. Whilst I was buying some souvenirs, my son eyed at an antique watch which I didn't want him to buy. Later I found that the lady who was there at the shop had gifted the antique watch to my son. Even though I insisted her to get money for the watch, she didn't accept, and it had been gifted to my son. I knew that she didn't get much profit from what I bought from her, still she didn't want compromise the quality of Chinese Culture. 

Not only my best friend, the lady who was there at the souvenir shop or the restaurant family, most of the people whom I met in China extended lots of respects towards me. Our school organized many cultural travels where we really exposed to the rich Chinese Culture. Mr. Guan and Zeng used to take us on travelling to many destinations very generously and expected only our happiness. My neighboring friends always wanted to travel with me to the beautiful Xiamen Horticulture gardens in weekends and their mother had prepared the delicious Chinese cuisines when we were back. I happened to travel many destinations as an individual traveler and almost all the people whom I met were really helpful. At each place of my destinations, I met someone who wanted to help me in the need of hours. Any of the friend whom I met China, didn't intend to hurt me even by a word and they really extended their respect. People of this great nation also deserve lots of respect.

Why it is hard to find adjectives in Chines language? Why only the "very" is common adjective in Chinese language? Why the language tenses based on verbs are not very obvious in Chinese language even though the Chinese language can be used very effectively? I used to ask these questions from my friends for hundreds of times, but they only just smiled. Then I had to realize the reasons by myself. Chinese is such an artistic language in which meanings are not just depicted only by the verb. The elegances of the Chinese language are reflected through nouns, objectives, adverbs, phrases and most importantly through the situational closes and phonetics. It is a dynamic and dimensional language. When Chinese language uses characters, I asked my friend to write my native name (Prasad) in Chinese. Still, he could write it.  It is a scientific language which we can explain any phenomenon and it is also an artistic language which can explain any emotion. Once I shared one of my favorite English poems, "The River Merchant's Wife" with my brilliant best friend and I found that it has been written by the famous Chinese poet called Li Bai. However, in most of the English literature, the poet of this poem is anonymous. To learn Chinese, you have to sense China, their culture and also have to live with Chinese people. Chinese is a wise language for wise people, just like my native language, "Sinhala" .

Learning of such an important language like Chinese, my god … it became a very tough task at the inception. I felt as such that I had been isolated from the Chinese world and I was wondering about the day when my teachers were going to understand my Chinese. Throughout my life, I happened to be an above average student, but learning Chinese became a very tough task. At this crucial situation, my Chinese language teachers inspired us with the emotional icons. They were dreaming of our progress and utilized innovative initiatives to enhance our language skills. Some of them never knew English, still they were very effective. When we couldn't handle the language well and our progress was slow, tears were there in their eyes which were really sensed in our minds. I felt that I can't let down my teachers and I strove hard and started to communicate with people. Subsequently, I realized that I was progressing, and others were understanding my Chinese language and I was really thrilled. When our language skills were progressive, our teachers were so cheerful and sometimes they baked cake for us and really complemented us. This process honestly motivated us to achieve the desired outcome. Learning Chinese Language paved the way for me to understand the Chinese culture and the people during my stay there. The emotional icons of my language teachers and interaction with the people paved the way for me to develop the intuition over this beautiful Chinese language even today I'm so proud of them.

The beautiful city of Xiamen really impressed me during my stay in China. Xiamen is a clean and well-designed city which itself had many beautiful destinations to travel. The people were very cheerful and helpful. Particularly the Jimei and my school became my most comfortable home and I was surrounded with friends, smiles, and complements and most importantly the interaction with them and the nature. The city celebrated almost all the cultural events and we were so fortunate to witness them. After travelling to the different destinations in China, the coming back to Xiamen was something like coming back to my childhood hometown. My stay in Xiamen was something like staying in my home city. If I am lucky, one fine day I will visit Xiamen and meet my friends and tell them that how impressive they were. I really miss Xiamen and my friends.

Through the experiences of travelling around the country, what I realized was that China as one of the safest countries where even a girl can travel along at night. Secondly, the people are really taken care of, and they really enjoy the individual and social freedom. Thirdly, Chinese people work hard and always accumulate something extra for their nation which is the real secret behind the development of this nation. In modern China, attributes of developments are being transformed and transferred from generation to generation and they have developed the country into a strong outfit. When you study about China, you also meet known and unknown heroes and heroines who have truly contributed for the development and the identity of this great nation. When I entered into to my school, I had to find a Chinese name. Apparently with all the difficulties I found Fu Young as my Chinese name. As time goes by, my best friend wanted me to have a more beautiful Chinese name, and it was Li Yuanxun. It had been the name of a famous Chinese poet and I was so proud. Today, I'm really emotional about my friends and they are imprinted in my mind forever. All of them are best friends, China is the country of best friends. This country of sincerity and friendship deserves lots of respects. (Contributed by Prasad Edirisinghe)

The views and opinions don't necessarily state or reflect those of Xinhua Silk Road.

Scan the QR code and push it to your mobile phone

Keyword: China friendship


【Financial Str. Release】China's central bank adds liquidity via reverse repos

Chinese yuan weakens to 6.9255 against USD Tuesday

Sound overseas Chinese work helps advance national rejuvenation

China sees increase in basic medical insurance expenditure in Q1

China's annual box office hits 20-bln-yuan milestone

Write to Us belt & road login close

Do you want to be a contributor to Xinhua Silk Road and tell us your Belt & Road story? Send your articles to [email protected] and share your stories with more people.

Click on the button below to create your account and get im access to thousands of articles.

Start a Free Trial

Ask Us A Question belt & road login close

If you have any questions, please enter them in the box below.

Identifying code Reload

Write to Us belt & road login close

Do you want to be a contributor to Xinhua Silk Road and tell us your Belt & Road story? Send your articles to and share your stories with more people.

Click on the button below to create your account and get im access to thousands of articles.

Start a Free Trial