“When in China Do as the Chinese Do”

Patrick William Mayoh (Australia): “In this new age, especially in the age of reform and opening up, China has a great prospect of development. Therefore, many foreigners come to China to invest and do business. But they should do as the Chinese do when in China”.

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What’s China really like in the eyes of foreigners? Which parts of Chinese culture are the most attractive? What are their personal experiences while learning Chinese language? Are there any touching stories that happened to them during their stay in China? You will find the answers here. After reading the following stories, don’t you have the desire to pick up your pen and put down something in Chinese about things around you?

Patrick William Mayoh, National University of Australia

My Chinese name is Meiyou. In Chinese, “mei” means plum, and “you” friend. I am a friend 印象九州 of plum blossom and I hope to become a good friend of Chinese people. But how? The only way is to do as the Chinese do when in China.

Different cultures and customs are the things that enriches this world. Traveling in different countries allows us to look at the world from different perspectives and helps us get to know different cultures and histories, which greatly widens our horizon.

When I had traveled and studied in China several times to visit many places, such as Jiuzhaigou which enchanted me so much. But what I miss most were the days when I lived and studied in Beijing. When I was in Beijing, I lived with a native Beijing family. They took care of me, as if I were a member of the family. My Chinese mum prepared delicious dishes that tasted and looked good. When I praised her, “you are very good at cooking,” she replied, “Nali nali (literally, where, where; meaning I am not good at that).” At that time I was very puzzled. Why did she ask me where she did the cooking? Of course in the kitchen! Later, my Chinese dad told me she said that out of modesty, which is considered a virtue by the Chinese.

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When my Chinese friends took me out to try different tasty Chinese food, each of them was eager to pay the bill after the meal. Why didn’t they go Dutch? They told me that when Chinese eat out together, the Chinese will not want to trouble their friends and want to do something for others. I see. So I do what the Chinese do and vie with my Chinese friends to pay bills when eating out.

In this new age, especially in the age of reform and opening up, China has a great prospect of development. Therefore, many foreigners come to China to invest and do business. But they should do as the Chinese do when in China. For me, my dream is to get to know China’s long history and Chinese culture better and become a zhongguotong (expert on Chinese culture). I know I am pursuing my dream right here on this beautiful land!


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pdfPublished in Confucius Institute Magazine
Number 03.Volume III. July 2009.
View/Download the print issue in PDF

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