Tipperary and Chinese pupils on exciting cultural exchange

Tipperary and Chinese pupils on exciting cultural exchange

Emma Guthrie, Tang Jia Cheng, Li Sixian and Niamh O'Farrell - introducing the Chinese visitors to hurling.

                  

Chinese students paid a visit to primary schools in Grange and Rathkeevin as part of a  cultural exchange programme.

The cultural exchange was organised by Clonmel based global engineering company Sepam and saw students from Grange and Rathkeevin visit China in April and a reciprocal visit took place last month.

The students selected for the adventure won an art competition organised by Sepam. Local students Kiera Brophy and Ronan Walsh had the trip of a lifetime when they visited China earlier in the year and they and their classmates provided a warm welcome to the Chinese winners when they came to Ireland.

Sepam CEO Michele Kearney  said the exchange has been an extraordinary and life enriching experience for all those who had the privilege of working on it.

“From the Irish kids perspective it allowed them to witness two sides of Chinese culture , rural China where life is simple and basic, to modern China which is fast moving and exciting .

For the Chinese children on the other hand coming from rural China they got to experience modern Irish life in it's true essence. 

From the simplicity of visiting the beach for the first time to zip lining on their final day, the ever present smiles on their faces tell the story of real happiness and excitement.

The most extraordinary lesson for us adults from this exchange is that culture and language do not need to create boundaries. The children managed to find a way to communicate by way of body language and modern translation apps.

In keeping things simple they communicated by themselves and all go away with life long memories of happy times shared together and exciting new adventures.

To the children we say thank you for creating something very special. Hopefully as you journey through life these memories will have set the foundations for you to continue to being open to working with all cultures, and realising that in finding common threads you can create magic and greatness “ said the Sepam CEO.