Pupils at Daning International Elementary School in Jing’an District were joined by 72 children from nine countries on Tuesday morning for a cultural exchange.

The children were from nations that have joined the Belt and Road Initiative. Organised by China Charity Federation, it was the second stop of their China tour.

“The children brought the traditional arts from their motherlands with them,” said Xu Yixuan from the charity federation. “We hope the cultural exchange will help these children build good friendships.”

Diana Rabadanova was one of the children visiting Shanghai. The 12-year-old Russian girl performed a traditional dance that drew rounds of applause.

“I have already made a lot of friends, I exchanged numbers and e-mail address from kids from different countries,” said an exited Rabadanova. “I managed to learn a Vietnamese song and I taught others our song ‘Katyusha.’”

After their performances, the children had classes together in ballet, traditional Chinese musical instruments and pottery.

For many of the children, it is their first visit to China.

“I was told the dim sum here in Shanghai is something one must try out,” said Azhar Baidilda from Kazakhstan. “Every day I learn a bit more about China and it feels good.”

After Shanghai, the foreign children will go to Chongqing, Chengdu and finally Beijing.

“After we arrive in Beijing, I can tick another wish on my list,” said Baidilda, “tasting Peking duck.”

Xu said he hopes the children will promote the Belt and Road Initiative in the future through the friendships they make on the tour.

The charity federation is also planning to take Chinese children abroad to showcase Chinese culture.

In September, Xu will take a group of Chinese children to Moscow to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship between the People’s Republic of China and Russia.