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Free 2nd-hand Gear Handed out to Tianjin Students

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At Nankai University's "Loving Care Fair", newly-enrolled students "buy" various pieces of equipment, not with money, but with "loving care cards", or by presenting their new student IDs.

The university fair in Tianjin Municipality recycles gear graduates will no longer be using.

Nearly 10,000 sets of clean clothes, hundreds of books, more than 800 daily essentials and 150 bicycles await their new owners.

Du Wei, who got a bike four years ago when he was a freshman, has donated it again together with clothes and books.

"I feel it is my duty to pass on this tradition of giving things to fellow students," he said.

The fair is a "time machine of friendship" for many graduates.

This year it included not only donations, but also gear left behind by graduates in dorms, such as kitchen utensils, hangers, shoe racks and umbrellas.

Books and notes were going like hot cakes and many students gained a lot from the fair.

"I am moved by the friendship and proud of the tradition," said Zhou Maofeng, a Ph.D. student, who found a basin, clothes and books.

"I think it is a 'green fair', since recycling is both economical and environmentally friendly," said a student surnamed Wu form the School of Economics.

"Loving care cards" are given to students from low-income families.

The fair has been held at the beginning of each school year for the past four years.

Many universities in China have similar markets where senior students sell gear before graduation, usually in April and May each year.

(Xinhua News Agency September 16, 2009)

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