For the Love of China

There is only one more week left of our Chinese adventures, so I’m making sure every moment counts. I am beyond thankful for my two Chinese volunteers, Carl and Lily, and all of their help!

This past week I have gotten to Carl more. From the day I first met him, I knew there was something to him than just being “book smart”. He is so knowledgeable about not just China, but the world around him. Even so, I still get to educate him more about the culture in The United States, and some terms we use. I think my favorite thing was teaching him about our cursive handwriting, because that is something they were never taught when they learned English. Also explaining our copyright laws – in regards to books – was a little difficult for him to understand why it was illegal for us to just scan and print all the pages from our textbooks.

What stands out the most to me is his passion for his country and how it shows in the conversations I have with him. First off, his choice of his English name, Carl. I asked him why he chose that name and he told me it was the name of one of the author’s in his engineering book, and because of Karl Marx. When we went to the Chinese National Museum he was filled with knowledge and so much pride for not only his country and its people, but Mao and the Cultural Revolution. Even though he does not practice any religion, when we went to the Lama Temple – he was very adamant on not taking pictures at the temple or be in any that we took. When we went to the 798 Art District he was not appreciative of some of the art because of the way some artists depicted Chairman Mao negatively. I commend him on his passion.

I was taken back a little bit – not in a negative manner in any way- because of how our manners in the states differs from his and I am sure many people of China. Many Americans love our country and are thankful for who we are. However, I do not believe our patriotism shines in our every day life as the Chinese do. I believe their actions and love for their country is so beautiful and interesting, and something that Americans need to remember in our own culture. We need to exert our love for our country and culture more graciously.

– Tia S.


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