Are you a foreigner, a White westerner who is a passionate lover of the beach, the lake, the river, sunbathing, picnicking when it comes to your best season of the year: Summer? You are already so well prepared and looking forward to your new bikini outfits, the trendiest flip flop of the season, your summer hats and etc to show them off to your fellow girlfriends! Most importantly, you are always on stand-by mode at the end of the work day searching for your girlfriend gangs for a short and instant message that says “hop hop! Beach here we GO!” Zack Zack, few minutes after, you guys are ready out at the beach! Ready for a dip in the water! What a pleasurably nice after work day! But wait…your Chinese girlfriends, why are they not showing the same passion as us? Are they missing their bikinis? That’s not a problem! Zack Zack, there you go! But hey, are there more reasons behind those emotionless faces?
No matter where are you, are you currently sharing a flat with some of your Chinese friends? Or, have you visited a Chinese family before and wondered why is it that the bathroom always wet? Especially, before you take a shower in the bathroom, you would be already stepping into the shower room with a complete wet floor. Why?
Have you by occasion talked to your Chinese friends before and was a bit surprised that they said they are still living with their parents at the age of 20+? You then look at yourself and think of your own perspectives that from your family’s education, it is necessary to learn how to live by yourself: how to do the laundry, what temperature of the water to use? How to properly iron your shirts, how to orientate your finance so that you won’t run out of money by the end of the month? These things you thought in your mind, would my Chinese friends know these if they are still living with their parents? Would they be independent enough?
Are you a married Caucasian who has Chinese parents in law? “Have you ever been confronted with ‘Do you even have a home for a future together?’ even before you legally held your wife’s hands?” These questions shocked you at first sight because you might think it’s practically impossible to have a “owned” home when you just started working for a few years. Why are Chinese parents so unreasonably practical? Do they expect their daughter to marry a millionaire? How on earth am I supposed to please them and let them know “owning” a home comes in time slowly and it takes both parties to work it out together.
Wooden beds? Are you kidding me? Seriously, have you ever been invited over by your Chinese friends’ place and was surprised to see that the nicely decorated bedroom they provided you is simply just wooden floor? You asked yourself am I really going to sleep on this hard wooden floor for the night? Someone please tell me, there must be a bed somewhere?
Have you ever wanted to grab a drink with your Chinese friends and was surprised to see how little they could drink? At first, you might have thought that perhaps they are just slow in drinking, but 1 hour later, their faces turn blushingly red and told you that they have enough just having a 330ml glass of beer. Suddenly you thought, what do they all drink back at home with their friends? Tea? Water? Juice?
Why do we as Chinese look at our kids and wonder why they are always in school every weekday from 8am to 8pm? Why do I look at the other kids living overseas doing a lot more extracurricular activities and laughing more than my kids? What is the Chinese society doing to us shaping our perspectives into kids’ education?
Toom Sweeping Day, better known as QingMing Festival in Chinese, marks a very important day to our Chinese culture. By knowing that workers and students get a few public holidays off to praise such a festival further indicates its importance and the respect that we pay.