About this blog
The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view
Monday, January 27, 2014
Blog posting written by Lucy Yang, Journalism and Politics, ’14, FLEFF blogger, Puyang, Henan, China.
I was born in a relatively small, slowly developing, and quite conservative city in central part of China called Puyang. About three and a half years ago, I came to Ithaca, N.Y., for college all by myself. That was my first time being abroad.
I am so fortunate that my parents have always been very open and they would allow me to try things out and make decisions on my own. My father, from his personal experience with his parents, understands how important it is for me to study something that I am really into rather than being coerced and end up doing things that I don’t enjoy. That’s why I ended up majoring in journalism and politics, although I know my mother would probably be so much more satisfied if I go to medical schools and be a doctor someday.
I grew up dreaming to be a war correspondent. I enjoyed reading creative non-fictions and autobiographies written by journalists. For all these years, in my mind, I guess, being a war correspondent was just something that seemed to be so romantic: traveling around in war zones, talking to people in a different language, fleeing under the rain of bullets and behind the fog of smoke bombs…
I know I was stupid. I know that I was over-romanticizing wars and what journalists actually do. I hear about all those journalists who were killed in warzones: some were as casualties of wars; some were even as political leverages. They fulfilled their roles as journalists with the cost of their lives. They are men and women with great courage, great determinations, and great hearts.
Once I was talking to a mentor of mine about how I don’t think I have the courage as those war correspondents do. He was astonished: “Are you kidding me? You are the bravest person I’ve ever known! You are brave enough to come to this country at such a young age all by yourself!” That was clearly the most encouraging thing I’ve ever heard.
I spent a semester at the University of Hong Kong in the fall of 2012. During my time there, I was lucky enough to be able to learn from some of the best journalists such as former CNN's Senior Asia Correspondent Mike Chinoy and famous non-fiction writer and "China watcher" Qian Gang. It was a great experience for me and I would love to go back there in the future.
I am very excited to be on the blogging team for FLEFF this year. I’ve definitely had some memorable time with FLEFF in the past. The films that FLEFF showcases are eye-opening for me, especially those independent films from China. They have allowed me to look at my home country with a different perspective because most of those films are banned in Mainland China, and, at the same time, they also differ from what's mainstream in the United States. To some extent, It is similar to my experience in Hong Kong, where I was able to examine China from a relatively independent viewpoint.