Every morning, dozens of students from Myanmar walk hand in hand across the border into China’s Yunnan province.
There, they are led by patrol officers to Yinjing Frontier Primary School. After school, as they are es
corted to the border inspection station, they wave, tell the officers goodbye and return to their homes in Myanmar.
The students attend the first frontier primary school in China. Locat
ed in Yinjing village in the small border city of Ruili in Yunnan province, the school has 36 M
yanmar students and 99 Chinese students. Founded in 1960, it has been admitting students from Myanmar since 1990.
Wen Liang, 10, from Myanmar, has repeated this routine for three years. “I like goi
ng to school in China. It makes me very happy because I have many friends there,” Wen said.
The youngest Myanmar student is 5, said Sun Jialiang, the school principal.
school because speaking fluent Chinese is necessary for them to work in China or do business with China, Sun said.
The government in Ruili has invested 2.6 million yuan ($388,000) in impro
ving school facilities, including building a new school building, canteen and playground. T
he school has established a special foundation with donations from teachers, parents and officers at the in
spection station to sponsor impoverished Chinese and Burmese students in pursuing their studies, he said.
Ruili, an important land port for southwestern China, is described by a famous C
hinese song, There is a Beautiful Place, which describes its natural beauty and colorful folklore.
At the school, the students also can be heard singing another so
ng, “Two countries, one school, hand in hand, heart to heart, forever love.”
ijab as she stood in the center of a room, surrounded by families desperate to hear words of reassurance. They were tired, worried and m
any were grieving loved ones presumed killed in the hail of bullets fired by a man who singled them out for their beliefs.
Even before she said a word, Ardern’s simple decision to cover
her hair served to show families she respected them and wanted to ease their pain.
”People were quite surprised. I saw people’s faces when she was wearing the hijab — th
ere were smiles on their faces,” said Ahmed Khan, a survivor of the attack who lost his uncle at the Al Noor mosque.
Ali Akil, a member of Syrian Solidarity New Zealand who came to Christc
hurch to support the community, said wearing the hjiab was “a symbolic thing.”
”It’s saying I respect you, what you believe, and I’m here to help,” he said. “I’m very impressed.”