How much do you know about the legends of Chinese dragons?
In Chinese culture, the interpretation of dragons can be very different from that of the western culture. Dragons have always been a symbol of power, strength and good luck in many Asian cultures compared to the destructive nature and often villainized portrayal in European culture and southern American Aztec culture. Today I will share a story about 100 proud powerful dragons with you.
At the beginning of this month, I was very honoured to attend the Dragon 100 Business Forum and Study Tour in both Hong Kong and mainland China on behalf of QUT. Dragon 100 is an annual conference hosted in Hong Kong. Attendees of this conference are students with Chinese ethnicity from all over the world. This year, students from over 15 countries gathered together in Hong Kong.
Although I’m originally from China, I have never been to Hong Kong. So I was very excited before departure. But at the same time, I also felt a bit anxious and nervous as this year, only three delegates were from Australia (Ada from University of Melbourne, Ivan from University of Sydney and me, QUT girl!), being anxious about the unknown and questioning if I can fit in the various cultural boiling pot?
The dragon committee in Hong Kong put us into different groups with a good mixture of different cultural backgrounds. In my group, we have people from Malaysia, Singapore, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Cambodia, UK and the United States. Besides the common fact that we all have Chinese ancestry, all of us can speak Mandarin, to a greater or lesser extent.
We spent three days in Hong Kong altogether. Each day went by so fast and everyone started to know each other better day by day. The highlight of these three days was the pitching of our business ideas. Each of the groups sent out two representatives to share their business ideas/established business with the rest of us. I was amazed by the story of one of my team members – Kim. She was the founder of Kimature– A natural beauty product company where she combines the ideas from local farmers and local beauty therapy techniques together to provide healthy and eco-friendly products to customers. Other ideas range from Buddhism hotel to uni mentoring community.
I found the conference part very interesting due to the fact that it was focused on local entrepreneurship. We also had a bit of fun exploring local markets. Since we had Hong Kong delegates and volunteers in our team, they took us to Mong Kok and tried lots of famous local delicacies.
During the whole study tour, we always say to each other: If I want to visit another country in the future, I will have friends from every continents to visit. Dragon Foundation has alumni chapter all over the world and Chinese dragons are scattered all over the world. Besides the friendship I made, I also learnt more about Chinese history and different asian cultures which is a self-discovery process. It will always be a sweet memory in the bottom of my heart!
Stay tuned for some funny adventures in mainland China!