Inside a large auditorium in Guangzhou's Sun Yat-sen University, hundreds of young people of Chinese origin from nine countries vowed in awkward Chinese that they are from the same family - China.
A total of 1,068 young people from 16 countries are participating in roots summer camps in South China's Guangdong, according to Wu Ruicheng, deputy director of the Overseas Chinese Affairs Office of Guangdong Province, which organizes the program.
"We will never forget our roots in China, since we are Chinese, too," Bryan Tay, a college student representing the campers, said during the ceremony on Tuesday.
One of the participants, Huang Zhentu, 17, emigrated to Brazil from Jiangmen, Guangdong, when he was nine years old.
"My memory of China is fading away, so I must come back to have a look at my hometown," Huang said.
"But I like China very much, and that's why I am still using my Chinese name in Pinyin," he said.
Elen Toeante, 23, was born in Indonesia and came to China nine years ago.
"My grandmother came from Guangdong. She wanted me to study traditional Chinese medicine," Toeante said.
Toeante is now a senior at Guangzhou University of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Because of her studies, she has not had time to visit her family's hometown, Meizhou City. But thanks to the roots summer camp, she'll be able to.
The summer camps are attracting young foreigners both with and without Chinese roots.
Marion Vu Augier, a 20-year-old college student from France, has studied Chinese for several years.
"I like Chinese culture, and I think joining the summer camp is a good chance for me to improve my Chinese," Augier said.
Cities on the campers' itinerary include Guangzhou, Foshan, Taishan and Meizhou, all with a large number of overseas Chinese.
Camp includes classes in Chinese language, calligraphy, painting, dancing and martial arts.
Twenty campers are living with Guangzhou families.
Maria Louie, from the United States, has visited a lychee garden and eaten dim sum with her host family.
"Thanks to the camp, I'm getting to know Guangzhou people's customs and see that the city's standard of living is very high," she said. (By Liang Qiwen)
Editor: canton my