Stefan Zimmerman (Switzerland): “We learned many useful Chinese sentences, such as self-introduction, figure and lines that can be used in shopping. Much to our excitement, we went to Xiushui Street to use what we learned just now. Very useful. Some even bought many products within two hours!”
At the beginning, Stefan studied Japanese and became a Japanese teacher after graduation. Later, he discovered that there are many Chinese people learning Japanese. Through exchanges with them, he became interested in Chinese language and culture unknowingly. Then he resorted to original edition of Chinese language teaching materials of Hanban, China. Though he changed his focus from Japanese to Chinese, he feels no great difficulty under strong interest. Training in Beijing enhanced his Chinese language proficiency significantly: “we learned many useful Chinese sentences, such as self-introduction, figure and lines that can be used in shopping. Much to our excitement, we went to Xiushui Street to use what we learned just now. Very useful. Some even bought many products within two hours!”
It’s not Stefan’s first time in Beijing. But walking on the street, he still gazes around very excitedly. He said that his deepest impression of Beijing in the 1990s is “bicycle everywhere”, which is replaced by auto now and “Beijing has become a modern and diversified city.” The courses of traditional Chinese culture are also causes for his excitement. “Teachers are very enthusiastic with rich domain knowledge. We’ve visited the most famous scenic spots in Beijing. I’ll never forget the Forbidden City and the Great Wall. These courses become my enjoyable trip to Chinese culture.”
With slow and stretching movement, Tai Chi boxing practice offers Stefan an opportunity to experience Chinese culture. He learns Tai Chi boxing from a master in a serious manner; in addition, he likes practicing Tai Chi boxing with town people doing morning exercises in the park.
A Peking Opera class was especially unforgettable for Stefan as the teacher drew facial makeup on his face, making him a figure in the story of Farewell to My Concubine.
Colorful traditional Chinese costumes attract people to experience a time travel. Stefan and other Chinese language learners dressed up and took a group photo .
Stefan exhibited a strong interest in audiovisuals for Chinese language learning.
The participation in Chinese language training course in Beijing improves Stefan’s Chinese proficiency a lot, providing him with an access to learn more Chinese culture.
Stefan likes historic buildings in Beijing. Both folk houses made of gray wall and soil eave and magnificent Imperial City impressed him deeply.
As the “fan” of Confucius, Stefan hurriedly came up for a group photo when seeing the Confucius Statute in the Grand Forum of Hanban.
Chinese elements are Stefan’s best love. His trip in Nantian Temple near Sydney makes him think of his trip in China.
Published in Confucius Institute Magazine
Magazine 20. Volume 3. May 2012.
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