China trip to experience culture

Excitement building . . .  Excited about Tahuna Normal Intermediate's trip to China are (back from left) director of international students Courtney Lousley, Jodie McSkimming of Fuzion Travel, Rhiannon Ambler, Kendall Garret, Maddie Ellis, Samantha Field, Jahliah Lousley, Poppy Braithwaite, Cameron Harris, arts teacher Liza Whitson, (front from left) Emily Hewson, Abigail Gilfedder, Ruby Maclean, Max Stevenson and Sebastian Hattrell. Absent: Pearl Hoete, Samantha McCormick, Rivah Ferguson and Holly Lightfoot. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

A group of intermediate pupils is set to experience Chinese culture first-hand.

Next month, 18 Tahuna Normal Intermediate School pupils will travel to China, where they will spend two weeks exploring parts of the country.

The school’s director of international students, Courtney Lousley, said the trip was about trying to create a social change and a generational shift.

He wanted to teach pupils that “people have different faces and come from different places but we are all the same”.

About 40 pupils expressed their interest in the trip earlier in the year, and the 18 were selected.

They will be accompanied by Mr Lousley, art teacher Liza Whitson, a parent and two helpers in China.

The group will tour Zhangzhou, Nanjing and Beijing. They will visit a kung fu school – which is attended by about 5000 pupils – a temple and sister schools.

It will be the second time the school has run a trip to China – 13 pupils went last year.

Mr Lousley said it was important for the pupils to understand different cultures, and the ones who went last year had their eyes opened.

There was a “buzz” in the wider community about the trips, and many year 5 and 6 pupils from other schools were saving in the hope of going in a few years.

Tahuna pupil Max Stevenson (12) said he wanted to go on the trip because his grandparents were part Asian, while Emily Hewson (12) said members of her family had travelled to Asian countries before.

They were both looking forward to the food, especially dumplings and deep-fried dough sticks.