By Katarzyna , PO
Looking way back, when I was a child my father gave me a book about countries in the whole world. That was my first time when I saw Chinese people and first time when I fell in love with the Middle Kingdom. Although, I was just a small girl, on that day I made a decision to visit China as soon as possible. In February this year my dreams came true. I had a chance to go to China and study for one semester, I couldn’t say no to this opportunity. That was the official start of my adventure.
After nine hours in the plane I landed in the capital of China. The first thing I have noticed was incredible big amount of people. They were everywhere from expensive restaurants to subway stations. I know that China has the biggest population in the world, I couldn’t image the range of it, to me that means that there are so many people to fall In love with. People who although see that you are different but they won’t treat you worse because of it. Surprisingly, during six months in China no one said: “I can’t help you”, mostly they offered me help although I didn’t ask for it.
In television, newspapers People’s Republic of China is often presented as a high-developed country, with the newest technologies implemented. The second, maybe in short period of time, the first economy of the world. All of it is true and I have to say that Chinese people are proud of their country.
Let’s go back to the topic. The first rule to know China is visiting not only desired tourist places (I don’t mean that they are not valuable) but also smaller places and talk with citizens. It is hard, I have to add that my Chinese friend, who I met at my Chinese university helped me a lot. The point is that by spending time with people I had a chance to see how they live. On the one hand they are still shy and don’t want to talk about themselves instead of listening about Western countries but when a thread of communication is made they begin to tell a story about the Middle Kingdom.
Only then you will see China from Chinese people perspective. The country which beauty is incredible. By beauty I don’t mean only environment, landscapes but also people attitude to others. What is amazing in it? For example Chinese take care of their traditions, during the wedding ceremony Chinese woman wear a red dress instead of well-known white dress which is worn in the Western countries. They have their own rituals, celebrations in which not only elderly take part but also youngsters. It is totally different when we take a look at Western countries we can notice that young people often don’t want to participate traditional celebrations because they are not “fancy”. Chinese young generation has different point of view, they treat these celebrations, as a part of themselves, part of their culture, part of their country.
The word “different” is not a good choice in describing Chinese society, it is better to use unique. Not because of the political correctness, because of the positive attitude of UNIQUE. From decades Chinese were trying to build a perfect country, country which aim is becoming number one on the world, they are on the good way to do it because they never give up. That is one of the things which other nationalities should learn. China has a plan and its governors will try to fulfil it.
The biggest Asian country gives the world 48 UNESCO World Heritage Sites which will easily put a spell on every, even the most demanding, visitor. Even though the architecture is similar on the south part as well as on the north but there are no two same places in the whole country. From west to east, from north to south landscapes are different, language is different (there are many dialects), climate is different. In China it is possible to taste so many variations, even more than you would have dreamed. After my first visit, I know that I have to return to see another places because there are so many breathtaking places. Also because I fell in love with China atmosphere, the kindest people I have ever met and cuisine.
China is a good way to escape from our duties. There is no Facebook, no Twitter, if you don’t have Chinese number it is hard to connect with Wi-Fi. It is the best way to make a “detox” for ourselves. With a camera hanging on our neck, wearing casual clothes instead of high heels you could start searching for new places. I promise after a while you will forget about world, relax, feel free and see amazing places. I give you a hint, don’t be self-contained, if you are in for example Beijing of course see the main monuments but visit another parts of the city, the parts which are not described in guidebook, see people, their lives I promise it will be worth it.
When I came to Beijing Airport from my headphones was flowing a song from Olympics 2008 held in the capital of China. The title of it translated into English is “Beijing welcomes you”, I can’t wait to hear new Olympic song (in 2022 Beijing will organize winter Olympic contest). Don’t wait, pack yourself, buy a ticket and go for your adventure. I am sure that Beijing will welcome you so warm as me.