HONG KONG, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- At soon as the Hong Kong Central Library opened at 10:00 a.m. Friday, a group of student visitors began flocking into the building's exhibition area, wasting no time to feast their eyes on a display of historical photos.
Led by a narrator, Ng Chi-yu, a student from Yan Chai Hospital Wong Wha San Secondary School, watched and wrote down the gist of stories behind the photos. When she saw a picture of Chinese agronomist Yuan Longping, known as the "father of hybrid rice," she could not withhold an outpour of sadness knowing that Yuan died a few months ago.
"Without Grandpa Yuan, we would not have the abundance of delicious rice," she said, adding that she believes the happy life today owes to the fruitful outcomes of hard-working Chinese people.
Ng and her classmates were among over 3,000 visitors to the exhibition on Friday. The exhibition, sponsored by the China Merchants Group and running from Oct. 8 to Oct. 17, is jointly hosted by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government, the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR, and Xinhua News Agency.
"The exhibition is huge, with so many pictures on the wall," said Kong Suet-ting and Leung Nga-su, two students from Yuen Long Long Ping Estate Wai Chow School. "It takes us back in time to see what the country went through."
Most of the "China Album" exhibits displayed at Hong Kong Central Library were selected from over 10 million precious pictures in Xinhua's China photo archives, which offer Hong Kong residents a chance to look back to some of the historic moments over the past century. There is also a special segment for Hong Kong.
Dr. Kan Kar-yin, principal of Gertrude Simon Lutheran College, said she felt it a pity that there are few exhibitions in Hong Kong that can fully show the development of the entire country.
"The over 200 photos on display connect the important historical dots and form an invisible line to let us feel the road map of national development," Kan said.
When asked which picture is the most impressive, Wong Hoi-Ching, a student from Fuk Wing Street Government Primary School, picked one capturing a dozen of two medical staff during their fight against COVID-19 in Wuhan.
"They worked so hard for everyone's safety, and I admire them very much," Wong said.
Miss Wat, a General Studies teacher at the primary school, said the school has been committed to helping students learn more about the history and development of the country.
"They usually don't have the opportunity to see so many precious photos. This is a good opportunity. I hope it will open their eyes," Wat said.
Many visitors said the exhibits showcased the unfading blood ties between Hong Kong and the motherland over the past 100 years.
"I feel that the country attaches great importance to the development of Hong Kong, especially the young generation in Hong Kong. I think the road ahead for the young people in Hong Kong is bright and splendid," Kan said.