Opinion / China Dream in expats' eyes

China, a place worth visiting and more pleasing to live in

By Nishan Kafle ( Updated: 2015-12-28 14:14

China, a place worth visiting and more pleasing to live in

Nishan poses a photo with his families in Beijing. [Photo provided to]

I arrived in China for the first time in 2007 when Beijing was in a restive mood for the highly anticipated Olympic Games. The whole city was full of zeal and excitement and you could sense a feeling of jubilation in everyone. Perhaps it was the best time to experience Chinese hospitality amidst the festive atmosphere in Beijing. I had initially thought this warm hospitality and kindness was a part of the preparation for the joyous event but, contrary to my thinking, it was the innate character of the Chinese way of life.

I was not very excited in the first place about coming to China and spending a substantial amount of my childhood here. But after I lived for some months among these unaccustomed traditions, I began to embrace the culture here and started enjoying it. One particular incident I recall is when I got lost while returning home from school. I was crying along the way when a gentleman approached me and asked me what happened and I explained what happened. Thankfully he knew English and he kindly took me home.

To be honest, coming to China was a culture shock for me, as it can be for most newcomers. Although Nepalese and Chinese people share similar traits, like unparalleled hospitality, friendship and a sense of empathy, everything else differed to a great extent, from language to customs and architecture to the use of chopsticks, for example. Unlike other parts of the world that share similar characteristics in their languages, cultures and architecture, Chinese culture on the flipside is starkly distinct in that it boasts vast diversity and yet a great level of harmony.

The Chinese have always been passionate about their customs and traditions and that vividly reflects in their way of life. In the contemporary world where many countries have been subject to Western influence, China has managed to keep its traditions away from external domination. There are many instances to validate this claim, for example, the practice of Tai-Chi, a form of slow Chinese exercise, even in an era where fitness is completely dominated by modern fitness appliances. Chinese medical practices still are not overly dependent on highly sophisticated modern drugs and technologies. They use modern medicine only in specific conditions, while a large number of Chinese still prefer traditional Chinese means like acupuncture to combat illnesses. The rich culinary culture of China is also as old as its 5,000-year history. An old Chinese adage goes, 'I would rather be deprived of water for seven days than tea for one day'. This maxim illustrates the love of tea for the Chinese. Seeing people carrying a water bottle with some green leaves or flowers is a common sight in China.

The Chinese have always strived for development of the country. The Chinese model of development is so unique that it embodies the traditional values and cultural wealth of the country. The preservation of hutongs in the midst of large-scale commercial development and the prominence of Confucian thoughts in modern Chinese pedagogy are sufficient to prove modernity and cultural values can coexist. In my experience of living here, China is a fascinating country to visit and it is an even more pleasing place to live. The warmth and hospitality of the Chinese people will definitely make anyone feel at home.

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