China in My Eyes---Episode 4

The outstanding works of "China in My Eyes" essay contest are here again!

Although the author works in the Ministry of Information Technology, Communication and Innovation of Mauritius, the story he wishes to tell about China is not limited to the field of science and technology. Let him lead us to feel the unique charm of China along his journeys!


China in My Eyes

Arvind Doorgakant


I have been working in the telecommunications sector. With China being a world leader in the field of technology, I always knew it would only be a matter of time before I was called upon to visit China. The opportunity finally beckoned in 2016. Three years on and after four Chinese adventures, I cannot enjoy noodles without my chop sticks anymore. I put pen to paper for this 'China in my eyes' testimonial, with China shining bright from a very special spot in my heart.

 In August 2016, the first invitation from my Chinese counterparts flew in. Prior to this trip, the image of China which projected in my mind was mostly influenced by movies, cultural shows and documentaries I had seen: ancient lifestyle, traditional clothes and historical architectures. As I landed at China, a whole new movie was being projected in front of my eyes. The world class infrastructure, high rise apartments, luxury cars and skyscrapers in the central business districts outclassed my expectations. Upon our arrival at the hotel, the waiters were neatly dressed and lined up to show thier welcome, the Chinese hospitality really deserves its reputation. In China, respect is the primary etiquette. Every day I start a beautiful day with the cordial greetings of the hotel attendants. The shop assistants also serve with both hands to show respect. Chinese and English signs can be seen everywhere on the streets and scenic spots.

 The hardworking and disciplined nature of the Chinese people really struck me. From the engineering professionals who would stay in office until very late to the manual workers involved in construction and embellishment works on the streets, everyone seemed so dedicated towards fulfilling the duties allocated to them. I recall during one of my trips to Shanghai how a professional guide was telling us about the hardships faced by previous generations which helped mould the persevering nature of the Chinese people. I always prioritise having maximum exposure to the culture of any country I travel to. Taking a trip down memory lane, I had the utmost privilege of attending two of the most fabulous live shows I have ever seen in my life. Firstly, the 'Romance of the Song Dynasty' in Hangzhou. The breath taking performances of the dancers and acrobats illustrated ancient myths of the city, the modernisation of Hangzhou as well as the fairy tales around West Lake. No wonder this show is rated among the top three in the world. The China Folk culture village in Shenzhen was just as impressive. In my trip to the legendary West Lake, I took the boat trip to enjoy a panoramic visit of some famous places around the city whilst savouring the finest Longjing tea on board.

I have been to professional trainings in other countries as well but the logistics put in place for me and my colleagues in China were always one class above. I visited some equipment factories in Dongguan. The efficiency of the tools, procedures and skills of the huge workforce clearly illustrated how China has been spearheading technological advents. In Shenzhen, I also witnessed how technology was being put into practice for sustainable development. The rapid emergence of electric vehicles from BYD (Build Your Dreams) is a testament to the awareness and commitment of local authorities and citizens towards the need for clean energy and safeguarding a healthy planet for future generations.

 Another facet of my Chinese adventures that I am very fond of is my exposure to the Chinese cuisine. Through my travels I was able to enjoy the various flavours on offer from the different provinces. However, one culinary experience which really stands out is the Hotpot. Using chopsticks to simmer the bamboo shoots, mushrooms, seafood, meat, tofu and vegetables in the 'hot pots' of varying degrees of 'spiciness' and savouring these with self-made sauces is a real delight to the taste buds! Besides there are also several dishes which I appreciated such as the rice balls wrapped in sea weeds. In fact, I have noticed that the culinary offerings in China are adopting an international dimension, where everyone can find their favourite tastes and this bodes well for promoting China as a tourist destination.

Undoubtedly, shopping constitutes one of the major highlights of my trips to China. I still recall my first shopping trip to Longxiang bridge in Hangzhou. I hardly spoke any Chinese word and the locals were not conversant in English. As a universal translator, the calculator came to my rescue! The sellers were often resilient too and so we sometimes had some intense 'negotiations' but always in an amicable manner and in good spirits. In fact, bargaining was more fun than buying itself! My best shopping experiences were certainly during my recent trip in Shenzhen. My own 'silk route' extended from the famous Seg-Electronics market all the way to Lohu. On a different note, being an adept of technology, I discovered a whole new world of shopping through the online platform where I would place orders with the help of my Chinese colleagues. To sum it up, I could find literally everything in the markets with the perfect blend of variety, quality and affordability to satisfy my personal needs as well as fulfilling 'orders' from family and friends.

In my humble opinion, China is the perfect synergy of Culture, History, Innovation, Nature and Amiableness. I feel deeply privileged to have visited China on no less than four occasions. The huge cultural and historical heritage of China and the unmatched sense of hospitality of its valiant people have been truly enriching to my mind and heart. The communion, passion and dedication that rallies the Chinese people towards fuelling the unwavering progress of China have also left me inspired. Dare to dream and have the grit to make it possible…like splendid China!


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