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Rebuilding the Silk Road: The life of a Turkish teacher in Xi'an

Reporter: Hu Chao 丨 CCTV.com

05-26-2014 07:14 BJT

Xi'an, the capital of northwest Shaanxi Province, is an ancient city with a history of more than 3,000 years. Its history-laden architecture and unique culture have attracted many overseas students. Though they come to learn the Chinese language and culture, they also bring their own cultures to China.

27-year-old Bayram Kujukagtas is from Turkey, but he is known by most people in Xi'an as Bai Yuxin, his Chinese name. Bai came to China in 2006 as a Chinese major at the Xi’an International Studies University. After six years of study, he attained a Master’s Degree and became a Turkish language teacher at the university.

"Mr. Bai is very active and sometimes even a bit mischievous. We feel very close to him," Xi'an International Studies University student Song Jiashu said.

Bai often takes his students out for various activities or invites them to his apartment for Turkish food. He says that getting along with the students opens his mind.

"I wasn't so outgoing before. It's my students who have cheered me up. When my students say I'm an outgoing person, I feel so happy," Bai said.

Bai says that the Turkish idioms and the Chinese idioms have a lot in common. He treasures the compositions that he has written in Chinese.

As the Silk Road International Exposition is underway in Xi’an, Bai says that an effective plan is important for the rebuilding of the old Silk Road.

"I think that firstly, China has to make a good plan to revive the old Silk Road. Then they should carry out the plan step by step. Today both Turkey and China attach importance to the building of the new Silk Road," Bai said.

Bai's wife came to the city to join him last year, and she too became a Turkish teacher at the university.

Bai has spent 8 years in Xi'an, and he says that he will stay in Xi'an for another 3 to 4 years to try to help more Chinese students learn about Turkish culture.

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