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中文版 2022年7月3日
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My Endeavours of International Training Workshop on Hybrid Rice Technology at Hunan Rice Research Institute (HRRI)
Rana Ahsan Raza Khan

Let me rewind to the 6th of September 2017 when I arrived at HRRI which was to be my home for the next 21 days. The next day I felt like a fish out of water and the other participants were no better. But soon I realized that all in the group were a truly awesome lot. At HRRI we met some amazing people, especially Mr. Yuan Longping, Mr. Zhao Zhenghong, Mr. Huang Zhicai, Ms. Li Zhaohua, Mr. Fu, Mr. Yang, Mr. Zhou, Mr. Liu, Mr. Zhan, Mr. Zhou Chengshu, Mr. Yang, Mr. Pan, and Mr. Huang Junter. Let me take this opportunity to tell you how wonderful it was to be your guest and trainee in China.

Fickle weather continued to greet us during our early days in Changsha. However, in this unpredictability, there has always been a constant glow of sunshine around us, that came in the form of Mr. Huang Zhicai and Ms. Li Zhaohua. Both took us under their wings from the day one and looked into our needs with utmost efficiency. From early settling days to the very end, both were there in the thick of things. One other thing that struck us about Changsha was the sheer number of people that had specialized in Hybrid Rice Breeding. The concentration of such people was simply astounding. We were fortunate to be taught by men of such knowledge, experience, charisma, and integrity.

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In the next few days, we visited Taojiang and Heshan Hybrid Rice Experimental Base, and then there was a tour to Shaoshan. At that time, All of us came from different countries, became friends and that feeling evolved into a feeling of not being away from families but right among the family. If initially, I felt like a fish out of water then after several days, I was swimming with my school.

Over the period of 20 days, we learned so many things from brief introduction of HRRI to molecular breeding, high-quality rice breeding and hybrid rice seed production. Our vision about Hybrid Rice was broadened, and our laboratory skills were honed. Simply saying, we were taught how to be a Hybrid Rice Breeder. Then nobody can forget the honor of meeting with Prof. Yuan Longping. We were feeling the time stopped moving for us and every one of us rushed to have photos with the legend. It was like we had gotten the rights to brag about Hybrid Rice Seed Production theory and the underlying basis of that.

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Then we visited Nanxian Hybrid Rice Experimental Base and learned about the importance of frogs and turtles which I used to consider as useless. And how can I forget being part of the Chinese National Day celebrations when we performed a song which was covered by Hunan Television? The Chinese People and Scientific Community appreciated the participation of the International Trainees of the Workshop and presented gifts. With all this wealth of knowledge and experience, we gathered; it was indeed time spent well… time spent very well. All good things must come to an end and sadly though, it’s goodbye time. It’s time to go home. Although, we were excited to be reunited with our families, friends, loved ones and, pets; we couldn’t help but feel a tinge of sadness in our hearts for Changsha. We still miss our home at the hotel, we miss our classroom. We miss tea breaks and colorful yet elegant dresses . We miss communicating with friendly locals without a common tongue.

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We took back the rich learning experience we were fortunate to have in the hallowed portals of the HRRI Classroom. We were eager and excited to share that learning with our fellow countrymen back home and for sure we did our part. We have also taken back loads of fond memories of Changsha and the wonderful people we met and the experience we had. The amazingly cheaper shopping experience of the downtown, cleaner air, down to earth street vendors, marvelous agility and precision of construction crews, and last but not the least, the Hunan Cuisine. It has an aromatic and spicy flavor precisely dominated by pepper. Visions of the river banks will never be erased from my mind. These will linger in my thoughts for eternity. Thank you HRRI for this wonderful opportunity to experience such a historical and great civilization. Thank you, Changsha, thank you Hunan, thank you China and Long Live China.

Sponsor:Department of International Cooperation Ministry of Science and Technoplogy PRC Maintenance:China Science & Technology Exchange Center Technical support:Intergrated Information System Research Center Institute of Automation Chinese Academy of Science