Since coming to China, I have had the opportunity to go on many events and do many activities that have blown my mind. I would say that the activity that was the most culturally informative for me was when we visited the Forbidden City. When we visited the Forbidden City, I learned so much about the history and was overwhelmed by the amount of significance this area had. The Forbidden City tour showed how proud and rich the Chinese culture is. For instance, one of the things I appreciated more during the activity was the architecture of the city. The way the buildings are made shows how the Chinese value their culture and the values they hold. The Forbidden City is located at the heart of Beijing and therefore it shows just how amazing the wondrous the culture is.
My first impression of China was surprising. I quickly fell in love with the city because I love the culture and I love how their style of living is here. One noteworthy thing I have noticed is that China is full of contradictions. The city is full of modern buildings and large towers yet there are traditional Chinese buildings right next to them. It is a very interesting mix of tradition vs. modernity here. What did meet my expectation was the heat and population. I knew coming in that the weather in China would be very hot, especially in the summer. Surprisingly though, the smog and air pollution is not bad at all. I have not needed to wear a mask or anything. Also, I expected a huge number of people and that is what I got. There is never a time where I feel alone, which is cool. When walking around China, you can always expect a good amount of rustle and bustle as well as a good amount of traffic. It is also very entertaining to see how many people can be placed into one subway car because the Chinese people are not afraid to get close to you in order to get to their destination. Overall, most of my expectations were met. What did exceed my expectation is how much I enjoy being in Beijing and learning about how the city and its people works.
While my first week in China is over, there are still many cultural questions that I will strive to answer in my time here in China. I want to learn many of the roots of Chinese society such as why do the Chinese rely on passiveness when it comes to their communication? How does the overall Chinese society view foreigners and Americans working in China? And lastly, what is the best way to build guanxi with superiors? Overall I am excited for what China has to offer!