We went over quite a few topics in our five-day class. Although some information was rather familiar to me seeing as I am of Chinese descent, some of the topics we covered were quite unfamiliar to me as well. Even though I have traveled extensively to China, it was still very interesting to learn about China holistically, from the history to the government. I personally never really had a chance to extensively learn about Chinese history, so it was a very interesting opportunity to be able to really learn about something that was supposed to be so familiar to me. I remember hearing bits and pieces about Chinese history during conversations in China, since it’s so pervasive in Chinese cultural. One thing that shocked me was that the Qin Dynasty only lasted about 15 years. I used to hear about the Qin Dynasty and the Emperor all the time, so I just assumed that it was one of the longest dynasties in China.
Another topic that caught my interest was the article “Born red” that was about the current Chinese president, Xi Jinping. I never really had given much thought to what his background was, but to learn about his ascent to the top of the party was very interesting. Even in China he is a very interesting leader so it was a good opportunity that I got to learn more about him. In many ways, I have a better understanding of his policies and appreciate him as a leader. I find it ironic that I have learned more about Chinese history and politics in an American class then all the time that I spent in China. I think that’s it partly because in China they don’t really question the status quo, and tend to go with what is the norm. However, in America we tend to want to know everything.
In terms of similarity, I think the number one thing is the fact that people of both countries are very proud of their country. Whether it’s 5000 years or 200 years of history, both countries have a profound of patriotism. Criticism is excepted only if it is from those that belong to the country, foreign criticism is seen has ignorant.
I think this class can help me professionally in many ways, especially at this internship. I know that Chinese people love talking about their culture and history. The fact that I know a lot more about the history, it will make me seem less culturally ignorant. I want to come off as someone who is appreciative of other cultures regardless of where I am from.