Learning why Chinese Culture and the past is such a large part of life in China.
I had my first Traditional Chinese Medicine Treatment yesterday here in Beijing. My second appointment is for Friday, the 9th of June. I hope it goes as well as the first treatment did. I want to thank both Juicertrip and Ctrip for bringing me here for this medical study program.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Juicertrip and Ctrip for this tour,
all opinions expressed here are my own.
Our Visit to The English Speaking Tour Guides of Beijing
One of the things that we did was visit with the “English Speaking Tour Guides of Beijing” Club. We met with 20 or so individuals ranging in age from 25, to one gentleman in his late 50’s or even 60’s. Each of the 4 people in our study group (our 5th member was sick), made a short statement about our backgrounds. We set up and outline of what each of our business models was. The event went live stream to interested individuals and clubs throughout China. who accessed the event.
The program concentrated on how these individuals could set up advertising programs. The hope was to access people worldwide who planned a trip to China. Last year and before, guides in China had to work through a state program. One of the recent changes in China was to allow these individuals the ability to seek out their own clients.
Recommendations to the Guides About Their Business
It was our job to give them thoughts and advice on ways they might do that. Many common options are not available to them due to government internet restrictions. At the end of the program, we took turns answering various questions. The people we were working with had a good understanding of what they needed to do, but they did not know how to do it.
One of the biggest problems they faced was the country’s ban on all Social Media. Also, all information related to Google and its products. This is a limiting factor for anyone in the digital world of today. We tried to give them alternative ways to work online. A way for them to still gain contacts while not infringing on these governmental bans. We gave them a basis to get started.
Chinese Culture and It’s Unique Differences
I enjoyed our combination trip to the Temple of Heaven. We were to visit the temple and witness a Tai Chi demonstration. David Dou gave a short demonstration and then we got to try out the art of Tai Chi for ourselves. David is a long-time veteran of the art, as are all the people of China. Tai Chi is part of Chinese Culture, something that is part of every child’s school training. The entire lifestyle in China centers around older Arts and Traditions. In the age of the internet and computers, so many other cultures are allowing the old ways to disappear.
In China, if you are a senior citizen, you receive a free pass to places like the Temple and its parks. You also do not have to pay for transportation on the subways and more. The people from the local neighborhoods (Hutongs) all go to these parks as a meeting point. They are joining their friends and escaping the city for the greener areas.
Fitness in China
They do activities such as playing cards, games, crocheting, and sewing. They join in traditional dancing with each other and exercising. I saw men who were at least in their middle 60’s or more doing exercises on parallel bars for 5-minute stints or more.
They looked like athletes preparing for the Olympics. If they have a Senior Olympics in China, perhaps they were. All in all, it was an amazing and unforgettable time. Should you go to China, make this a stop of yours early in the day and marvel on the way the locals live their life.
Tea Ceremonies Are A Big Part Of The Chinese Culture
One of our next stops was to visit a lady in one of the Hutongs who does classes on the various teas in China. Drinking of tea in China is the most shared cultural experience in the entire country. Tea can be from one of the cheapest types, like Jasmine or black tea. Some can command almost as high a price as a great wine or a fine coffee like Kopi Luwak. The range and type of tea you and your family share is only governed by the amount of money you have to spend.
The tea either at one of two temperatures, 86 or 100 degrees. Some of the varieties soak before brewing if they have a high amount of dust on the leaves. In all, we tried 8 varieties of tea. Some were almost clear and the black teas which were my favorite were not black but quite dark. They were much more like a tea we would have in America.
Maintaining The Old Ways In Chinese Culture
The last thing I will talk about is some of the older men who take a small mop that when wet has a pointed end. They go out to public spots to write in the older Chinese alphabet. They do not want the younger generations to forget what they consider is the correct alphabet.
Final Thoughts on Chinese Culture
I spoke at length with a college student from Kunming while I was at the airport. He explained the difference in the 2 alphabets. The best I could understand is that in the traditional alphabet you must write 4 symbols to make a word. The new alphabet only needs two symbols to make a word. That means that things like books are only half the size of the same book written in the traditional manner.
I am going to make a personal observation. “It seems as though in the Chinese culture they honor the old ways, and also the older members of their families. When they do something they focus their entire being into that one thing. Whatever it is they devote 100% of their efforts to do it as well as possible. From Tai Chi exercise to writing the ancient alphabet with water on the cement. They strive to do the best that they can do.” We could all take a lesson from them and do this in our day to day lives.
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