After spending 20 days in a summer camp at the All-Russia Children's Care Center in Far-East Vladivostok, 364 students from China's quake-hit Sichuan province were ready to embark on their journey home.
"From strangers, to acquaintances, and to good friends at last, 20 days here have helped all of you understand and build companionship with each other. The future of China's and Russia's friendship is in your hands!" said Fan Xianrong, China's consul general in Khabarovsk, at the closing ceremony for the summer camp on Monday night.
The ceremony, held by the center, was also seen as a send-off party for the 364 students who had just spent 20 days convalescing here.
Upon the stage set up in the fountain square were well-decorated curtains, on which a blue planet held by children's hands was the most notable and meaningful.
Besides, a long banner written with "The Future of China and Russia's Friendship in Children's Hands" in both Chinese and Russian was also eye-catching.
During the ceremony, the convalescence team from China presented to the center a beautiful banner embroidered with the words "A friend in need is a friend indeed," showing their appreciation of the work done by the center.
All the stuff members and students from the Russian side were amazed at this special gift handmade by several Chinese students and teachers.
Other presents included holy Kha-btags ribbons which carried the gratefulness of the Chinese students from Qiang and Tibetan ethnic groups, and panda toys for the Russian side.
Students were not the sole theme of the party. Members from the authorities, interpreters, teachers, diplomats and reporters, who actively participated in daily activities and were quick to learn a foreign language, were all awarded with a certificate from the center for their contribution to the exchange between children in the two countries.
Entertaining performances were indispensable to such a party, while dance was the best atmosphere lighter. Passionate ones, moderns, and those from China's ethnic minorities performed by both Chinese and Russian children delighted every attendee.
The party reached its climax when all the children, more than 500 on and off stage, started to sing in chorus the Chinese song "A Grateful Heart" to say "thanks" and "goodbye" to each other.
The beautiful rhythm and moving tune of the song were accorded with hand languages from children of both countries. Sometimes, they opened arms; sometimes, they crossed arms in front of their chest; still other times, they made a heart with their fingers...
The performance was so engaging that, when coming to the very last part, it did not receive any applause or cheering. Instead was silence over the entire square and teardrops weltered in everyone's eyes.
But soon, sentiments gave way to hope and happiness again.
Deng Qingqing, the well-known girl who touched every Chinese people's heart by reading under torchlight when being buried under debris after the earthquake in May, said at the closing ceremony that, 20 days were short, yet long enough to understand a lot, such as love and gratefulness.
Though from different countries, they and their Russian counterparts will have the same wish -- an everlasting friendship between China and Russia, Deng added.
Fireworks lit the night at the end of the ceremony, a musical fountain started to blossom. Together with the gorgeous scene were overjoyed faces and cheering of all the children, as well as a promising future in their hands.