BEIJING: Malaysian students from Chinese universities spent their graduation day with no flowers, photographs, family or friends this year as there was no large-scale ceremony in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Only those who are still here were able to join a simple event which was live-streamed on the Internet. June and July are the typical months for convocation ceremonies in China.
Although it was somewhat sad, Malaysian graduates accepted it and consoled themselves that this made them different from the rest.
Caleb Kang, who studied human resources at Renmin University here, was upset when the school informed him that he would not be able to attend the ceremony a week before the event.
“This was expected, but when it really happened, I was sad.
“The graduation ceremony marks the end of a chapter in my life, and the hard work over the years,” said Kang, who watched the graduation ceremony online at his Batu Pahat home alone.
“I will go back to Beijing and have my convocation pictures taken at the studio when China reopens its border,” he said.
Ryan Lim was sad that he was unable to bid farewell to his lecturers and classmates.
“We shared lots of good memories together as we were very close and we went for study tours to various places.
“As I was the only foreigner in the class, all of them helped and took care of me,” said Lim, who also watched his convocation at his home in the Klang Valley alone.
A group of Malaysian graduates from Peking University were luckier as they managed to share the happy moment together.
They went for a holiday together in several cities in Malaysia to celebrate their convocation on July 2.
Loke You Rong, who studied advertising, said they decided to meet up after the movement control order eased as they had not seen each other for a few months.
“About 15 of us went to Penang, Kelantan and Johor before ending our trip in Kuala Lumpur.
“We borrowed gowns from our seniors and had our pictures taken at the various landmarks,” she said.
During the live streaming, her most touching moment was when they were each given three minutes to say something to their parents.
Loke texted her loved ones by saying thank you, and that she loved them. Her parents responded with a “heart” emoticon.
“I cried but these are happy tears,” she said.
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