Pinkie Ratsela, 25, from Mametlhake, Mpumalanga is flying the South African flag high in China, after taking part in the Beijing International Walking Festival in China over the weekend.
This year’s annual event, which is organised by the Beijing NGO Association for International Exchanges, in conjunction with the People’s Government of China, took place in China’s Pingqiao District, one of the main urban areas of Xinyang City, located in the south of Henan Province.
The area has a long history and is the birthplace of the famous “Huaishang Civilization” and “Guchu Culture.”
Ratsela says that she is privileged to study in China.
“For me, to be here to study, it has been quite a privilege. It has given me an opportunity to learn about different cultures and I was amazed by the manner in which the people of China have welcomed and treated me from the beginning, and are so keen to learn about African culture,” she says.
Ratsela, a Unisa B-tech graduate in Agricultural Management, is on a scholarship in China to learn Mandarin through the exchange programme between Department of Higher Education and Training and the Chinese government scholarship.
International students from Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Cameroon, Bolivia and Equator, Papua New Guinea were part of the event.
Participants got to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Pingqiao Zhenlei Mountain, which enjoys the charm of the north and south climate, with the walking conference ending at the Haotang Village.
The NGO’s Secretary General, Xu Qiang, says the need to learn more about other cultures and to promote healthy lifestyle was their inspiration behind organising this event.
“No one is self-sufficient. As different nations in the world, we need to learn from one another and exchange ideas to become a better world. Also, walking is another form of exercise which has been there for years and if we embrace it we could create healthier communities. The idea is to take this event to all over the world.”