Editor's Note: The third SCNU English writing contest, themed "Telling China’s Story", ended with 422 entries from 33 different schools. We congratulate all prize winners on their outstanding performance. Awarded winners have been announced (see results), and all winning entries will be published in this column.


By Arsalan Haider

There was a little boy who was born in the countryside, Pakistan, in 1990. Before college, he never left his village. Therefore, his understanding of the outside world mainly depended on his father's fantastic stories. His father is a very brave and wise man who has been to many cities to earn money. According to his father, he learned that there was a country called China on the other side of Islamabad, and the relationship between the two countries was extremely good, just like iron friends. Thus, the boy's strong desire to visit China grew day by day. That little boy was me.

I'm Arsalan Haider, Ph.D. of Psychology at SCNU. I have been living in China for 6 years. It is no exaggeration to say that China is my second home. Over the past six years, I have lived, studied and worked part-time in China. I have been deeply impressed by the development and prosperity of China's economy, the rapid progress of cities, and people's friendly hospitality.

My first impression of China is that it is very safe and people can go out on the street at night, which is very different in my country. At the same time, public facilities and transportation in China are also very comprehensive and convenient, such as subway, high-speed rail, train, plane and so on. When buying something, the way of mobile phone scanning code payment is widely applied as well.


Steet lights at night are like color stars.

The safety and convenience of life in China enable me to study comfortably and attentively, alongside my study and research. Consequently, I got my Master's Degree from Shaanxi Normal University and enrolled in South China Normal University to study for my Doctorate in 2018. In the two universities, I enriched myself with more learning experience, and research practice. Thanks to that, I successfully found a job in a university as a lecturer during the epidemic outbreak period. If there had been no efficient learning experience in China, I dare not imagine, where I would be, and what I would do at the moment.

China is like a treasure trove for me. There are so many surprises waiting to be explored and discovered. Therefore, I always traveled a lot in my spare time. I have been to Beijing, Guangzhou, Xi'an, Dunhuang, Ningxia, Guangxi and so on. When I saw the Great Wall for the first time, I still remember that I was shocked by the architectural wonder. When I climbed it, I was deeply moved and impressed by the wisdom and diligence of the ancient Chinese people, which made me want to explore further and understand this country. 

In addition, Chinese food also makes me yearn for so much, such as hot pot, Chinese dumplings, Lanzhou noodles, spicy cold noodles and so on. So I even learned to make Chinese dishes and share them with my friends. There is an old saying in China that food is the most important thing for people, which shows Chinese people's enthusiasm for food, and Chinese food culture is also very extensive and profound.


Beautiful and historical Xi'an.

At the moment, I'm writing this article in Pakistan, and my feeling is very complex. Because of the epidemic outbreak, I failed to return to China for almost 2 years. I miss the traffic, food, friends, and teachers there. I hope the COVID-19 pandemic will be over and well-controlled as soon as possible. Then I will go back to China and continue to finish my studies and further explore them simultaneously. Perhaps I may settle down in China after graduation, for China is my second home.

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