Traditional Chinese medicine increasingly adopted by foreign students

A pharmacist fills a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) prescription at the Gansu Provincial Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Hospital in Lanzhou, northwest China’s Gansu Province, Oct. [Xinhua/Chen Bin]

LANZHOU, July 29 (Xinhua) — Putri Ayunitha Ajeng Tryas Prihardinni, from the Indonesian city of Surabaya, is amazed at how traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has continued to evolve since she started studying it. one year ago.

The 20-year-old arrived in China in 2019 and first studied Chinese in the city of Wuxi in eastern China. She is currently a freshman at Gansu University of Chinese Medicine, the only university in northwest China authorized to award doctorates in TCM, a medical system with thousands of years of history and great international popularity.

Located in Gansu Province, a key TCM production base in China, the university has so far educated students from 22 countries, including the Republic of Korea, Kazakhstan and Laos.

When Prihardinni was 10, she suffered from persistent headaches. So her mother took her to see a TCM doctor near their home. “I still remember the strong, refreshing smell of herbs in his clinic,” Prihardinni said.

The doctor checked her pulse, examined her face and tongue, and wrote out a prescription. After several weeks of consuming the bitter herbal remedy, her symptoms subsided and she found comfort.

“His medical skills were like magic,” recalls Prihardinni. The memory of being cured by TCM was etched in Prihardinni’s heart and encouraged her to pursue TCM studies with a specialization in clinical science of Chinese and Western medicine.

Originally from the island of Java in Indonesia, Banon Putri Nilam Sayekti, 21, is one of Prihardinni’s classmates. Since she had never been exposed to TCM therapy before, Sayekti struggled to understand this branch of medicine at the start of her first semester.

“The Chinese, for example, believe that good health requires a balance of ‘yin’ and ‘yang’, and TCM practitioners not only pay attention to a patient’s disease, but also to their condition. general physics,” Sayekti said. “It seems that curing a patient is both a medical and a philosophical challenge.”

“TCM is becoming increasingly popular around the world and has become an important cultural symbol for China,” said Zhao Zhongting, associate professor at Gansu University of Chinese Medicine.

“Many foreign students, however, find it difficult to fully understand the meaning and function of TCM medical terms due to cultural and language barriers,” Zhao said, adding that to help them, the university offers various courses. training for first-year students, including biochemistry. , study of languages ​​and culture and diagnosis of Chinese medicine.

Exchange activities between local and international students, conferences and study trips are also offered to help students better understand the academic course.

“Our teacher also invited us to spend the Spring Festival with his family. I ate handmade dumplings and enjoyed a beautiful fireworks display that night,” Sayekti said, adding that studying TCM involves learning about a different culture and requires an open mind and constant effort. overtime.

The two girls are currently enjoying their summer vacation. During this fall semester, they will take practical TCM courses with Chinese students. Despite the increasing pressure of the courses, they are nevertheless very motivated.

“People in my country are getting more and more interested in TCM. Many vloggers on social media are documenting their experiences with Chinese medicine,” Sayekti said, adding that she plans to return to her hometown after the graduation and open a TCM clinic. “I want to tell my relatives and friends that Chinese medicine is also a good and trustworthy choice.”

As for Prihardinni, she wants to pursue higher education. “Studying TCM is a lifelong endeavor. I know it’s not easy to persist, but I would like to give it a try because I love TCM and my life here in China.”

(Source: Xinhua)