What comes to your mind when you think of China?
Seth Krueger, former Server at Green Mill Restaurant & Bar (2012-2017)
What I think is fascinating is that if you had asked me this question a few months ago, I would have had a very different answer than I do now. I"ve been taking a class that covers the history of modern China, from 1644 to the present, and it comprises almost all of what I now know about China and its history. Education in the United States largely ignores Far Eastern history and focuses on Europe and the West, so my knowledge of China itself was pretty limited. So my answer then probably would have gone something like: Great Wall, Mulan,etc.
After spending several months studying the path China has taken from a dynastic empire to the co unist free-market power of today, I can't say I'm anywhere near an expert on China, or that I'm intimately familiar with its culture. However, I can say that when I think of China now, I have a drastically different perspective than I did just a half-year ago. What I think of now when I think of China is:
The importance of China in the world market and global political sphere, and how remarkable it is that it has achieved this status in such a short time.
The problems that a modernizing China will have to address in the near future to preserve its new-found influence, such as rampant pollution, income inequality,.
The size of China! not just in population, but landmass. And all the beautiful, varied environments contained there, something I want to see.
The diversity of its people. China encompasses more than 50 recognized ethnic groups, each one distinct and unique.
There are many more things that come to mind when I think of China nowadays, which speaks to China's rich cultural heritage, and the complexity of its current position in the world.
Oscar Owen, University student
When I think of China, I would first think about what I see in historical movies and TV series:
1.Traditional architecture as found in the palaces, shops, inns, houses and mansions.
3.Chinese languages - Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien etc.
4.Traditional Chinese clothing - which differs according to the era or dynasties (i.e. the hanfu and the cheongsam)
5.Famous historical figures like Confucius and Liu Bei
6.Chinese cuisine - especially the Peking duck and Hong Kong Cantonese cuisine
7.Chinese table manners - how they use chopsticks to eat, and that you you shouldn't put your chopsticks straight up in a bowl of rice.
9.Chinese festivals celebrated with lion dances, dragon dances, firecrackers and fireworks.
10.The writing systems - Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese