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【Cultural Landscape】Jiufang Garden: The Carrier of the ‘Little Undergraduates’ Friendship

Time:July 2, 2015  Author:  Editor:  Source:   Photo:

When birds are twittering and sky is turning light, Jiufang Garden, located on the southwest of the campus, has already had its guests. In the garden, old men wander on the Kapok-carpeted ground. They sometimes sit quietly under trees enjoy the twitter while sometimes they chat joyfully in the pavilion.

Sitting on the river bank, hiding among the flowers

The Jiufang Garden, located on the bank of Xiangsi River, is on the opposite side of the Sakura Garden. The first sight you may see after entering the south gate is a crude stone standing on the grass field, with the mark ‘Jiufang Garden’ on its body. Walking along the path, you may be attracted by a distinctive stair. On each step of this nine-step stairs are the Chinese and English name of a language. Here are all these nine languages: English, German, French, Spanish, Japanese, Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, and Vietnamese. At the ending of the path, sits the Jiufang Pavilion.


Jiufang Garden

The dark brown pavilion shows its classic beauty among bushes and flowers. In the pavilion, there is a stone bench, two winding corridors. The pavilion joins the whole garden and, sitting in there makes people feel relaxed. Xiangsi River, Star Bridge and Jiufang Pavilion together draw a beautiful picture. At the head of the pavilion is a plaque, with vigorous and forceful calligraphy written on it. Hanging on the pillars, isanantitheticalcouplet. It reminds students that they need not only to listen to the sound of reading, but also they should listen to the sounds of the wind and rain. Likewise, they should not only focus on their own business, but also pay attention to their country and the whole world. In the centre of the garden, there’s a stone book. On its open page, curved the message left by the pavilion builders and their stories.

A limited life but, infinite friendships

After the baptism of time, the trees and flowers finally grow up and become the garden we see today. Jiufang Garden is built by the graduates of 1970 in memory of 45th anniversary of GDUFS as well as the 40th anniversary of their entrance. Perhaps the time will pass, but their friendship and feeling to GDUFS is infinite.

Alumnae of 1970 raised funds and built Jiufang Garden in 2010. They are a special group of students. After a 4-year shut down due to the Cultural Revolution, GDUFS was one of the nine universities in Guangdong Province that began to recruit students. It recruited 508 senior 1 students from local high schools. At that time, GDUFS only had 9 language majors and a 5-year study. Because all the students were only 14-16 years old, they were called as ‘little undergraduates’.

The land of Jiufang Garden used to belong to an old electrical maintenance store. The year 2010 happened to be the 45th anniversary of GDUFS as well as the 40th anniversary of their entrance. With the intent of making contribution to the university by beautifying the campus, the graduates of 1970 proposed to build a memorial and a pavilion in order to remember the life of these ’little university students’ in GDUFS.

When the meaningful and picturesque Jiufang Garden finally established, people were all amazed by its beauty. However, few knew the disputes and difficulties occurred during the process. As one of the ‘little undergraduates’ as well as the participant, Professor ZHAN Dehua, from Faculty of European Languages & Cultures, narrated us some stories. Because Jiufang Garden is a result of collective donations, everyone showed his or her care by offering advice. Some graduates wanted their names on the monument. However, the proposal was turned down by the majority. Also, another graduate was willing to donate seedlings of bamboo and planted them in the garden. Considering the difficulty of pruning and the untidiness, his proposal wasn’t taken in the end. Instead of bamboo, other rare seedlings were planted in the garden.


The Story of Jiufang Garden was Carved on the Stone Book

On the stone book, is written the story of Jiufang Garden: Although the 40 years has passed quickly, the memory of life in GDUFS came to the mind even more clearly than before. It is the 40th anniversary of our entrance, we appointed to meet each other again in GDUFS and co-build the Jiufang Garden to congratulate the achievements that have been made in the nine majors. Meanwhile, we’d like to extend our appreciation to GDUFS and wish their mother university a more splendid future. To those graduates, Jiufang Garden is a witness of not only their passed youth and good memory, but also their gratitude and best wish to GDUFS. Noticing their feelings hidden in the word always make us feel sentimental.

Although time may pass by quickly, Jiufang Garden, as the carrier of ”little undergraduates’’ friendship, lies in the corner of the campus and guards GDUFS always and forever, this kind of unchanged emotion is what we are seeking.

The builders decorated the campus, now it pleases the students in return

The builders decorated the campus, now it pleases the students in return. It was a radiant and enchanting spring, at 5 o’clock in the afternoon, the journalists went into the garden started a journey of discovery.


Jiufang Pavilion

With the last shedding of light and melodious music, the dancing figures of two women were in sight. They were Ms YANG and Ms GUO, teachers from the Middle School Attached to GDUFS. Ms GUO accepted our interview readily after the music was over. She expressed that she comes to the garden everyday because of the scent of flowers, sunny weather and the clear river. Everything is fantastic here. According to Ms GUO, if is possible, she is considering to spend the rest of her life here enjoying the beautiful scenery. Bauhinia bathed in the sunlight while the sun slowly set to the west. At dusk, the two teachers continued their dancing. Their figures were no doubt the moste vigorous thing in the garden.

Instead of a dynamic dance, Mr. LV prefers the static scenery. At that moment, Mr. LV was taking photos with his cell phone so as to save the scene forever. Owing to his work in journalism, he loves photographing things. Everything in the garden can be the material of a story in his eyes. It seems that his life mission is to save every moment in the garden for people to enjoy and praise. ‘GDUFS has a perfect geographic location. Many of my colleagues who have changed their jobs choose to set their home in GDUFS. Such landscapes as Jiufang Garden add color and vitality to the campus.’ Mr. LV said to us and took another photo of the Jiufang Garden at dusk.

In fact, the spring in Jiufang Garden doesn’t merely refer to the natural scenery, most important, are the visitors. The dancers and photographers keeps going on their journey of discovery in the garden and breaking the isolation there. It is the people who give the garden vitality. That is the real meaning of spring.