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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

words of advice

Sunday I met set up for some of us to meet to play Frisbee, but it turned out that those of us that could come did not have a Frisbee. So…we just walked around, exercised a little, and talked. Oh well. It’s always nice to see other volunteers. My host brother and his friend came. My host brother is always teaching me different things about Chinese culture that I wouldn’t otherwise learn. It’s too bad that I don’t write them down, and then end up forgetting half of what he says. Let’s see if I can remember some of them: he always starts with “do you want to know why” and I always answer “yes” or “please tell me”

• When toasting always toast the oldest first and the youngest last.
• In ancient China one was considered of great importance if they had more steps leading up to their door than others and if their door was larger
• Putting your hands together and shaking them means that you wish the person good luck and wealth
• Mao Zedong said that you should study first and date later (I am obviously paraphrasing). But this is why Chinese adolescents do not begin to form relationships until they get to the university level, and also why they seem so young, innocent, and childish compared to Western students of the same age
• Chinese believe that eating the organs of an animal will increase the strength of that organ in oneself. For example, if I ate the eyeballs of a fish then it means that my eyes will be stronger
• One must never step on the door frame of a Buddhist temple
• It is good manners to toast everyone at your party
• It is polite to leave food in the dishes that your host makes because it indicates that they had more than enough food to feed you, which is the sign of a good host ( this is the complete opposite in America in which the host is most pleased if there is no food left because it indicates that her guests enjoyed the food)
• You should eat fruit before you go to bed because it calms you down, except for litchi which fires your brain up
• It is good luck to put the new year sign meaning luck upset down on your door and to keep the new year’s decorations up all year
• This next one I take with a grain of salt: Chongqing people are very rude. And his dad told me why Gansu and Guizhou provinces are not good. Lol. I think they are just really proud to be Sichuanese. I must agree that Sichuan province is a great place to be, although I am sure all of the other provinces are good as well.
• For the reason why the news focuses on people’s personal issues, like divorce, two women fighting on the streets over something ridiculous, an overweight child, etc. is that I have to understand that I am in China now. This was one of the best advice I have gotten so far. It is kind of funny, but very true. I cannot compare the US and China because they are two different cultures. What seems strange in America isn’t here, and what seems strange in China isn’t in America. But on a side note he said that he also thought what we happened to be watching at the time (which was a woman yelling at her husband over something) was too personal to be on the news
• Chinese can download any movies or music they want for free on various websites. So jealous. Lol.
• Jackie Chan is not good at Kung Fu. They still like him though
• Chinese love badmitton, basketball, and soccer
• You should take care to watch your bag
• If you are ever lost always trust the old people if there are no police around, they are generally good
• Tai chi is for old people
• One of my host brother’s classmates told him that there were cannibals in Zambia. I don’t know if his classmate was joking or not but I am glad that I had first hand knowledge to dispel this myth. So not only am I increasing America’s reputation in China, I also seem to be furthering Zambia’s.
• Taking a cold shower is not good because it doesn’t allow for the holes in my skin (he probably was referring to pores) to open up.

That is all I can remember. Maybe I will remember more later, or just learn some new things from the Chinese that I will meet in Jiangyou.

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