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.
 Taylor, Chris, et. al.,China, Lonely Planet Travel Survival Kit,
Hawthorn Victoria Australia: Lonely Planet Publications, 1996, ISBN
Klinger, Allen China as a Modern Nation.