Young people in the territory had a chance to brush up their language skills and learn China's national anthem at a Putonghua camp recently. About 120 secondary students spent six memorable days at the Po Leung Kuk Holiday Camp in Sai Kung with 60 youngsters from Beijing, Shandong and Inner Mongolia during the Putonghua Summer Camp organised by the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups. Two of the Hong Kong students, Christine Hung Lok-ping and Clare Tsang Choi-har, said the camp gave them a taste of the different cultures of China and helped them improve their Putonghua skills. They also learned something they believe they should have known a long time ago. 'We are Chinese. All the mainland youths knew the national anthem but we didn't. We've heard it in the Atlanta Games but we only know the tune,' said Christine, a St Teresa Secondary School student. 'We were ashamed of ourselves and the mainland youths were a little shocked.' The Hong Kong students were very touched when their Shandong 'friends' gave them their anthem books during a campfire and taught them how to sing the song. 'They were very enthusiastic. They told us to put our feelings into the song,' said Clare, a fourth-former at SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School. 'They knew the national anthem very well because they learned it in kindergarten.' Seventeen-year-old Wang Haoyu from Shandong said Hong Kong youngsters should not be blamed for not knowing the Chinese anthem. 'It's not their fault. It is beyond their control and we should not hold it against them.' Wang Lu, also from Shandong, said: 'A Hong Kong student approached us early this morning and asked us to teach him the anthem. We were glad to do it.' The youngsters, from different backgrounds took the opportunity to learn about each other as well as evaluate themselves. 'Hong Kong people tend to consider themselves superior to mainland Chinese. Now that I've had a chance to meet them, my feelings have completely changed. I found myself inferior,' Christine said. 'I admire the mainland students. They have a broader mind - they think about their country, whereas Hong Kong people only think of themselves,' she added. The youngsters from China also gained a new perspective of Hong Kong people. 'We had the impression that the people in Hong Kong are always talking on their mobile telephones, walking up and down the street looking very busy. 'But actually it's not that bad. The friends we've made here are very nice and friendly,' the mainland youths said. They added that they were happy to have the opportunity to visit Hong Kong and would like to return next year during the handover. 'June 30 will be a date worth remembering,' Haoyu said. 'It will be an important date in history. The return of Hong Kong to China is an issue which we are very concerned about. 'I would like to come back and experience the changeover next year.'