Chinese teens in passaic see benefits of Olympics

12 08 2008

Visit Passaic as part of 2-week tour

The students, boys and girls between the ages of 13 and 16, traveled to the Northeast to take in American culture and learn about education.

With the Olympics in full swing, some students were more than happy to see China hosting the mega international event and were OK with the fact that they weren’t home to experience it.

“It can introduce China to the people all over the world,” 15-year-old Lu Fong said, “to let people know more about China, and a chance to know that China is making progress.”

Meanwhile, classmate Xiao Feng said the group watched the opening ceremony of the Olympic last week in hotel rooms in Washington, D.C., and sang songs together.

“We are so excited and proud of our country,” said the smiling 13-year-old Feng. “We love China.”

The New Jersey chapter of America Asia Amity Association hosted the teenagers during their 15-day-tour, which included visits to New York, Washington, Boston, Irvington and Philadelphia.

Dressed in the same bright green AAAA T-shirts, the students met with Interim Mayor Gary Schaer and Superintendent of Schools Robert Holster on Monday at City Hall.

“It’s a privilege for the city of Passaic to welcome these young people from the People’s Republic of China,” Schaer said. “Passaic prides itself on diversity and we hope that in their short time in our city, they will learn to appreciate our American values.”

Some students took pictures; one student filmed the event with a small video camera, while the rest sat silently during a brief overview of the city and public school system.

“We learned many things about the universities in America,” Fong said.

The students were later given certificates by the mayor in honor of their visit to Passaic. And after a group photo, the Chinese teenagers made a beeline to their bus for the trip to Jersey Gardens Mall in Elizabeth.

The students said they enjoyed sightseeing because everything in America was so big, including the malls.

When at home in China, the students attend the Dezhi Foreign Languages School in the southern city of Guilin. And according to the AAAA, each student paid an equivalent of $5,000 U.S. dollars for the trip.

The Asia Amity Association headquartered in New York City, was founded in 1989 and aims to link America and Asia through culture, education and business.




One response

17 07 2011
Howard Helfgott

Wow Great to SEE this here ! I was the one who arrange this meeting for the Chinese Teens to enjoy our City and they truly luved their visit with us. We look forward to doing a Student Exchange program both in Passaic as well as Israel, if anyone has any ideas or can be of assistance please let me know.
contact Howard AAAA NJ Chapter President

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