Comments on Chinese Culture

This flowered potted plant was on the counter at the waiting lounge of the Hangzhou Airport. Above it on the wall was the large flight map of the Chinese airline. To me the combination of gentle and graceful beauty with utilitarian modern air transportation represented the living soul at the heart of China, something I'd then experienced every moment of my first week in the country, and its ability to remain strong while absorbing the West's technology.

Safety was on my mind before I flew. I have been robbed while traveling in Europe and Asia. Words from a Chinese visiting professor advised me to "... take care of your belongings when you go shopping." "Avoid outdoor activity after sunset ..." Both are good recommendations that could have been helpful to me in England, Russia, Japan, Thailand and Spain. A comment "Generally speaking, Shanghai and Beijing are safe," and a guidebook's words about pedicabs [3, 181-182], also prepared me for caution. But nothing could have led me to expect "Just be an honest citizen!" - and the tones in Chinese my escort used to dress down a person trying something funny. [We left with no economic loss.]

There is a strong and vibrant core to Chinese culture. China absorbs others because it is healthy and vital ... and able to incorporate their culural contributions within a vast umbrella.


[3] Taylor, Chris, et. al.,China, Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit, Hawthorn Victoria Australia: Lonely Planet Publications, 1996, ISBN 086422-363-2.

Klinger, Allen China as a Modern Nation.