I Love Beijing

The following speech won 2nd place in the JHS Prefectural Speech Contest 2010. It was written by Mayu Ōtaki from Goshono Gakuin Junior High School.

I Love Beijing!

Beijing. Have you ever been there? What's your impression of Beijing? I used to think that Beijing was dirty and the Chinese people disliked Japanese. But I was wrong. After going to Beijing, my impression changed. I have realised a very important thing through my stay in Beijing.

This spring I had a chance to visit Beijing with the support of the Parent-Teacher Association of Japan. The purpose of this program was to get to know the Chinese students and to promote the exchange of talented young people. Fortunately, my friend and I were chosen to participate in this program. I was very happy. But I also felt a little anxious because I had heard many bad things about China in the news. For example, there were a lot of poor people who lived in dirty conditions. And China has a lot of shady operations on food, money and so on. It was even worse when the Sichuan earthquake occured last May. When many apartments and schools collapsed, it was clear that there were many old and dangerous buildings in China. I though, "Can I spend my time in Beijing safely?"

When I arrived at Beijing International Airport, my anxiety diminished. The airport was very spacious and even more beautiful than Narita. Although there were a lot of high modern buildings in Beijing, we could still see the lovely sunset. My favorite place was the Great Wall. It was amazing! I asked my friend Tsukihi, "Who thought of making this wall?" We were so impressed with this historical site.

One day, I met two Chinese people at a shopping center. They asked me, "Are you Japanese?" "Y..Yes." I replied. I was very surprised, because they were so friendly and talked to me in Japanese! After that some Chinese people talked to us in Japanese, too.

I got along well with a Chinese guide who we named "Otousan". He told me, "Chinese people don't have any prejudice against the Japanese people. In fact, Japanese are similar to us." Actually the people in Beijing smiled and talked to us wherever we went. On the last day, "Otousan" said to me, "Mayu, you are my daughter from Akita." I was really happy to hear that, and I cried at our parting.

Before this trip, I think I had believed the mass media too much. They show only one angle. But that's not the entire picture. We should not trust everything. There are so many things in the world that we don't know about. So we should go there and see what they are really like. That's the most real, isn't it? My thinking has changed through this trip. I am really glad to know that Beijing is a really nice city and that people there are so friendly. And I'm very happy to throw away my bad images of Beijing. Someday, I want to go there again to learn something new and to see my father in Beijing.

Have you ever been abroad? If not, why don't you go? But please don't have and prejudice before you go there. You may find something new that you have never thought about before.

See also