Working and teaching in China: Study China’s ancient culture when working and teaching in China
You can work and teach in China as well as study China’s ancient culture. Studying China’s ancient culture is important because it can help to understand Chinese people and their habits. Understanding at least the basics of China’s ancient culture can give you answers to various questions about their lifestyle and thinking, for example:
- Why do Chinese people eat different food in different seasons?
- Why do many people in the street move their legs and arms around their body?
- What is the attitude to a teaching profession in China?
1. Why do Chinese people eat different food in different seasons?
In China, it is believed that food can either cure a body, or cause a problem to a body. For example, when it’s too hot outside in summer, food that is considered ‘cooling’ (for example, such fruits as lychee, or in Mandarin Chinese; 荔枝 li-zhi) can fill a body with fluid to help it to resist heat, whereas spicy food can damage the body. And vice-a-versa, eating spicy food can warm the body when it’s cold winter times; it is believed that one must avoid ‘cooling’ food when it’s winter.
2. Why do many people in the street move their legs and arms around their body? What are they doing?
In China, if you can see a person who moves their legs and arms around, it means they are practising martial arts. There, martial arts (in Mandarin Chinese; 武术 wu-shui) is inseparable from their culture.
Many Chinese people accepted and embraced into their everyday life-style. They like to practice martial arts, for example, at the bus stop, a park, near a shopping mall etc, even if it’s noisy around. For instance, pedestrians usually don’t pay attention to those who practice martial arts in the street, because they know what the person is doing.
Have you ever tried to move your hands and legs in the street practicing concentration, while people move around, whilst noise surrounds you? You can try to do it, when you are in China. There are martial arts school, where you can learn how to perform certain martial arts for concentration.
But you must be cautious and careful before entering the martial art class due to possible physical injuries, because it is actually a fight, you should also consult and need the advice of a doctor before you start to train. You have to be careful practicing a martial art.
Check a video and a photo below. It can be called “Move like an animal” ; or, move like a tiger (in Mandarin Chinese; 虎 hu), a bear (in Mandarin Chinese; 熊xiong), a deer （in Mandarin Chinese; 鹿 lu）.
The photo below describes movements of “a fierce tiger with bright claws”, and “an eagle fight”.
These showpieces are available the Museum of Chinese Medicine, Hangzhou, China.
3. What is the attitude to a teaching profession in China?
The profession of a teacher (老师 lao-shi) is highly respected in China.
It is known, that Chinese people cherish their history. It is believed that the development of history depends on future generations, whereas teachers play a central role.
Teachers who teach and guide their students build the next generation of people, and the history as such.
The showpieces are available the Museum of Chinese Medicine, Hangzhou, China.
- China’s ancient culture is an integral part of modern China’s culture, the manifestation of which can be encountered everyday and everywhere in China.
- Understanding China’s ancient culture can help to build a good relationship with Chinese people, enjoy life, and benefit your work in China.
Welcome to teaching in China!
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