Meet “Sunny”, 19, college student in Central China. He’s a translation major, takes art classes, and would like to be a therapist—not a common profession. I started corresponding with him because of my book-in-progress about global youth; I’d be glad to share more of his thoughts via email. You can see photos of schools I’ve visited on three continents at www.myspace.com/globalyouthviewpoints. If you know youth in other countries who might like to answer the questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I guess different is a word that can define me. Nothing can confine my thought. I am a thoughtful person. I have been different since I was a child. Everyone knows me or heard of me know I am different. Chinese people regards good results as successful, I certainly have that. But I’m special. I never yield because I have my own soul and thought. Growing up in a single family may have something to do with my character. It made me mature earlier than others.
My thirst for the known may be another thing makes me different. Sometimes my classmates even get annoyed by my asking questions. I have nicknames like Mr. Why, Mr. What If, and Mr. One hundred million question. I am not like other peers taking in whatever they are taught. I question. I want to find the truth myself. My American English teacher found most Chinese students are trained to memorize rather than think. That is definitely true. The education is the biggest pity in China. They are not teaching you to think, to find the truth by yourself, to have your own idea, but teaching you to believe.
The education system and the media are controlled by the government. They tell you 1+1=2, and they tell you Chinese Communist Party = a perfect leadership, from primary school! It’s more like brainwash. They make the political theories as textbooks and force you to memorize it, and exam you. That’s what most disgusts me of the government. But all has something to do with the Chinese culture. Thousands years profound feudal culture root may explain many things. I always question, I certainly will doubt whether the answer fits my life. I doubt authority.