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Historic Yunnan Normal University, Kunming, China
Where Michael studied Chinese in 2006

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Sister-pages:   Home Up Kunming(2) Kunming(3) Green Lake Scenes Green Lake for Kids KM Medical University Kun Shi Zhuan College Kunming--YNNU YNUBS (College)

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In 2006-07, Michael took a sabbatical to study Chinese.

I spent the fall term at Yunnan Normal University (YNNU).

Before I came to China I didn't know that a "Normal University" is a teachers' college (this is apparently a British term).

This university has a proud history. Soon after Japan invaded China, China's best universities decided to unite and relocate here. After the war, most of the professors and staff returned to their former campuses, but a small teachers' college remained.

During the civil war (Dec 1, 1945) a teacher and three students died as the government tried to suppress a movement for change; those who died are memorialized here as heroes of the revolution. There is a very nice museum back in this part of campus. The street in front of campus is also named "December 1" in their honor

This is a photo of some of Michael's classmates (Fall 2006). (The teacher is the one wearing a white sweater.) Michael had classmates from Australia, Italy, Korea, Scotland, Sweden, Thailand, the USA and Vietnam (though everyone was rarely present at the same time!).

My classroom building is behind this little park. On most days you can find students studying or talking together under the trees or in the pavilion. The pavilions have three pillars to represent the three main universities which moved here in the late 1930s: Peking University, Nan-Kai University (Tianjin), and Qinghua University.

The front gate is on a busy street, but a large fence down the middle of the road keeps traffic moving without pedestrian interference. Many years ago, this bike lane would have been crowded with bicycles, but motor scooters and private cars have replaced many of the bikes.

The statue is of Wen Yi Duo, an outspoken advocate for change who was executed in the civil war, and thus honored as a martyr of the revolution (see above). The sign above him reminds everyone to speak Mandarin instead of their local Chinese dialect. I wish people did this, because it would make learning the national language much easier!

This is the main library. The lake was created by Japanese bombs during World War 2, as they sought to disrupt the university's important role. The Japanese bombed Kunming often until the Flying Tigers arrived to challenge them.

Vivian and I love the life-size statues like these that are all over the country. This set depicts students and teachers in a mix of classic and modern clothing, as might have been seen on campus in the middle of the 20th century.

Basketball is very popular in China, especially among college students. The lunch break lasts from noon to 2:30, and many students play during this time. (We could hear the enthusiastic cheers from our classroom, because unlike Chinese students, the foreign students return to class at 1:00.)

This is an administration (and classroom?) building.

More Photos: Click here for photos of former students in Xi'an, Kunming, or Shanghai

Student Essays: Click here to see student essays from former students about NPU, Chinese holidays, and more.

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