In Love with Dragons–My Trip to China

by bria4123 on October 5, 2011

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I just returned home from my month-long trip to China. It was far beyond expectations. The people’s friendliness and warmth impressed me the most.

 

A warm welcome in Beijing

 

I found that some of the media don’t understand this wonderfully deep culture very well. China is often painted as “the other” but I found its people some of the friendliest I ever met.

They were always eager to connect, and many expressed high regard for America. They also embraced a lot of our soft culture, like pop music and casual clothes.

 

But traditions are still very strong in China. I met this boy in Qufu, Confucius’ birth place. It was very crowded with Chinese honoring the Great Teacher. He took my hand and adopted me as a member of his family as we walked around the tombs. Confucianism is more than a philosophy. Westerners usually understand philosophy as abstract thinking, but Confucianism incorporates a lot of family warmth in its stress on continuity with ancestors and harmony. These holistic ideas of the family have always been central in China.

These people kidnapped me! But I was a very willing victim. They meet by the river near Beijing’s Beihai Park every weekend. I was carrying this little guitar that fits in my suitcase, and they invited me to play with them. We rocked for a while, and they invited me for dinner. But they didn’t tell me that they were going to take me to this tea house afterwards for extended jams. I had to fly home the next morning, and they drove me back to my hotel when I wanted to go to sleep. We all wished that we had time for more meetings. These wonderful people gave me a great final evening in their country, and one of a million reasons to return next year.

I have always had a lot of respect for Chinese culture, but I now feel deeply and permanently connected with it. A million thanks to everybody who gave me memories to savor for the rest of my life.

 

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