By Nina Wu
Missouri Valley College has a diverse environment which contains over 200 international students come from 32 different countries all over the world.
The People’s Republic of China is located in East Asia, and lies on the west coast of the Pacific Ocean. China is a big country (covering 9.6 million square kilometers) with 5,000 years history. China is the world’s most populous country, with about 1.3 billion people. The population of China is made up of 56 different groups, which makes China even more diverse.
Beijing is the capital city of China while Shanghai is the largest city and also one of the most global cities in the world. China has over 22 provinces; five autonomous regions; four directly administered municipalities—Beijing, Tianjing, Shanghai, and Chongqing; and two highly autonomous special administrative regions— Hong Kong and Macau.
Confucianism was the official philosophy throughout most of China’s history. The theme of Confucianism is tolerance, kind and possession of a sense of benevolence, a type of kindness and openness toward others. Under the ethic of Confucianism, most of Chinese people are friendly and hospitable. The best way for them to show their hospitality is through Chinese cuisine. Chinese people like to eat and they are proud of their culture of cuisine.
“Unlike Western culture that everyone has their own plate of food. In China, the dishes are placed on the table and everyone shares, and usually has tons of food at one meal.” said Joe Hu, an international student from China.
Chinese people use chopsticks instead of knife and fork. Chinese hosts like to use their chopsticks to put food in a guest’s bowl, it is a sign of politeness. However, there are some eating no-no’s. Do not stick chopsticks upright in the rice bowl; do not tap on the bowl with chopsticks; do not speak too loud while you are eating food.
Other than the culture of cuisine, there are many tradition festivals in China.
“Spring Festival, also known as the Chinese New Year, is the most important holiday in China. The festival is usually through late January to early February.” Hu added.
There are many ways Chinese people celebrate the Spring Festival. Some do it by cleaning their house and clothes a few days before the new year—to get rid of the old. Others celebrate by decorating their house with upside down fu. Paper cutting is another way to welcome new year. Many families also have a traditional New Year’s Eve dinner (called Shousui) that includes special dumplings. Whoever prepares the meal puts a coin in one of the dumplings, and the person who gets the coin dumpling will have good luck the whole year. Like the western celebration of News Year’s, the Chinese version also includes launching fireworks to celebrate the coming of the year and staying awake during the night after the New Year’s Eve dinner. Another tradition is watching “Spring Festival Gala Evening.”
The color red also plays an important part in the Spring Festival. For example, adults give red envelopes with cash inside to children and people wear red clothing during the festivities to bring them a lucky and happy future.
Besides the traditional festivals, another significant feature of China is that, since the economic reforms in the 80s, China has become the world’s fastest growing major economy and the world’s largest export country. China plays an important role to help build good business relationships between other countries. China welcomes people from around the world to verify its growth, and to taste its delicious food.
China 中国 (Zhong Guo)
How are you!? 你好吗 (ni hao ma)
Hello. 你好 (ni hao)
Thank you 谢谢 (xie xie)
Cheers 干杯 (gan bei)
Delicious 美味 (mei wei)