The people of China have welcomed me with open arms. They have welcomed me into their culture which I have been very grateful to have experienced in my first couple of weeks here. Despite the degree of culture shock, it has been fascinating and more so intriguing at the same time.
One of my main worries was the language barrier and there is a definite one here in China. It’s difficult to communicate with people as it is very rare to find someone who speaks English. By completing a Chinese course for 30 hours at language school in China was beneficial as I can now go about my daily life here with more ease compared to when I arrived.
The rich culture embedded in China is something worth exploring. From calligraphy to paper cutting, making dumplings from scratch and learning Tai Chi. Attending a calligraphy class led by a famous calligraphy artist who is a member of the Zhuhai Calligraphy Organisation was a great insight into the art of China. A culture so rich with traditions and being a dominant part of the country entails how culture is a big part of every person’s lifestyle here. To be a part of it was perceptive and makes me want to discover the culture further. A culture very different from the western culture I have grown up to experience.
If someone asked me what I find the most captivating about China, then my answer would simply be its beauty. The beauty I never see in the media or elsewhere. To see it first hand is an experience in itself which I will forever be grateful for. A country that I never imagined to visit, turned out to be a stunning place worth seeing. By far, I have been amazed by one thing or another each day. Whether it is the palm trees that add the tropical vibes, the architecture, tea ceremonies and most importantly, spending quality time with Autistic children making dumplings!
Or whether it was exploring another city altogether. A worthwhile weekend away in Yangshuo, a county in Southern China’s Guangxi region. From the mountain landscapes, Banyan Tree, walking through the Silver Cave to see colourful stalactites and to cruising on a tour boat on the Li River and the Butterfly cave all were breathtakingly beautiful. I took time to really admire the beauty of Yangshuo and captured them both in the form of memories and pictures. It equally gave me time to reflect and truly count my blessings.
Friday nights means karaoke nights! It’s always nice to have a relaxed, fun and chilled night with friends who were once complete strangers. So far, my experience has been wonderful. I owe it to the people I have met along the way who I can happily call my friends, sending good and positive vibes every day, reminding each other how blessed we are to be living in China, which is still a once in a lifetime opportunity for many of us.
Humayra Hussain is a Law LLB student, going on to the 3rd year at the University of Sussex.