China in My Eyes---Episode 5
2020/09/24
 

The excellent works of the essay contest featuring"China in My Eyes" continue to present wonderful pictures of China!

The author of this article works in the Ministry of Arts and Cultural Heritage of Mauritius who has traveled to China twice, visiting Beijing, Shanghai, Jiangxi, and Yunnan. Let us see what China looks like in her eyes!

  

My Adventures in the Wonderland of China

Bamma Pravita Devi

 

As rightly said by a Chinese proverb: "Reading ten thousand books is not as useful as travelling ten thousand miles"

I had the opportunity to travel to China twice and visited Nanchang, Beijing, Shanghai and Yunnan. Travelling from Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean, to an immense country like China, has been so inspiring and fascinating. I felt that I will be lost in such a big country. However, both visits to China have been a lifetime and amazing experience for me.

To my surprise, the immensity of China was just in the area. The network is so good that we are all connected. Life is so much easier with modern technologies and high-tech software in most of the fields and all the wonders.

My native village may be smaller to Nanchang University where I stayed during my first visit to China, but the similarities of the green sceneries and the rivers made me feel at home. I enjoyed so much the cold weather.

Beijing was like a forest of buildings with so many skyscrapers that I could have easily been lost if I did not have the volunteers to guide me. The visit to the Forbidden City, with full of interesting stories, was like moving through years of history and ancient civilization with the wonderful art works and antiques bringing the feeling of an imaginary world.

More so, I was overwhelmed by the famous Great Wall of China, one of the Wonders of the World. The intelligence of the Chinese Soldiers of that time was clearly illustrated through the building of such a strategic barrier to protect the country from the enemies. It was a mixture of emotions and pride to be there. One more wonder of the World added to my bucket list!

My wonder world tour was followed by the visit of Shanghai, a romantic destination. To travel in boat at night was like being in the movie "Titanic" with my love. The illuminations at night was as if the world was squeezed and I felt that I was in Las Vegas once again. It was a visit filled with festive moods.

Stepping in Yunnan for my second visit, was even more fantastic and mind blowing. The visit of Stone Forest, a World Heritage Site, was an add on to the list of wonders. A tiresome journey but I was so happy to be there with so many myths behind all the stones.

During that visit, I learned that China, known as one of the four great ancient civilizations in the world, has five sacred mountains namely Huashan, Hengshan, Songshan, Taishan and Hengshan mountain. And there are four famous Buddhism mountains namely Wutai, Emei, Jiuhua and Putuo mountain are really impressive.

There is even more to discover on the Chinese culture also called Huaxia Culture. Chinese culture had a profound impact on South Korea, Japan and some countries in Southeast Asia such as Philippines, Singapore and Vietnam. It's seven maritime expeditions to the western seas deepened this impact.

In Mauritius, I got the opportunity to look into the arrangements for the organisation of events to mark the Spring Festival among the few Chinese celebrations. Visiting China, I acquainted many traditional festivals, the main ones being Spring Festival, Lantern Festival, Qingming Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, Double Ninth Festival.

Experiencing the traditional wedding in China reminded me of the wedding ceremonies in the Hindu community. Match making by elderly women, dowry to be given by girls' parent and even bridegroom transported in Palanquin are very similar to my own culture as a Mauritian of Indian origin.

I was even more overwhelmed by the warm welcome and the traditional food served by the village people. Aware that we, foreigners, do not know their language, they used all the possible means to make us feel comfortable by breaking all the communication barriers. In Chinese Culture, food is not just a meal but an experience, a science, an art and has a deep significance in life. Serving noodles represents long term relationship and lengthy life. Cooking in China is a passion for many and even a language of love. I also learned to eat with sticks.

The flower cake in Yunnan just conquered me. The cake made from flowers which I ate for the first time in my life was so delicious and amazing. I made it a must to share this delicacy back in Mauritius with all my families and friends.

The green tea experience is worth sharing. Being a passionate of tea myself, I was even more impressed by the essence of drinking tea in China. A new venture to discover the benefits of green tea with all its virtues. I adopted this good habit and made it a must to consume green tea throughout the day, even back to Mauritius. It did have a positive impact on my health.

Chinese people are not just promoting health through food but also through physical activities. The young spirit of Elderlies practicing line dance with friends in every corner of the streets every evening is part of their routine -So inspiring for Mauritian people! I even learned the 10 basic steps of Taichi which I now practice every day for half an hour since my visits from China. 

In September 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping proposed to jointly build the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road during his visit to Central Asia and Southeast Asian countries. I had the privilege to visit one of the sites of the "The Belt and Road" in Yunnan. I took note that the main aim of this project was to explore a number of trade and humanities communications channels connecting the civilizations of Asia, Europe and Africa. It has consistently adhered to the basis state policy of opening to the outside world, build a new pattern of all-round opening, and deeply integrate into the world economic system. The expansion of the economy through the South Silk Road, North Silk Road and the Maritime Silk Road will connect China to Asia, Africa and Europe.

I discovered about the Galaxy Tary Group, which is about the group's development of agricultural technology, agricultural finance and circulation of agricultural products. This visit has been very enriching. Participants had the opportunity to experience how efficiently the agricultural sector is managed and supervised through technology. For instance, any mishap in a certain area can be immediately identified through CCTV camera installed at the place. The farmers are given instant advice. Such technology shared would help farmers worldwide to be effective and gain in terms of high productivity. The agricultural sector of Mauritius will surely boost up the economy if such technologies are adopted.

A balance between the economic and social sectors brings stability in a country. Being given that I am very much interested in social work, the practice and reform development of the registration and management of Chinese Social organizations has been fruitful to me. The Chinese Social Organisation is a non-profit organization/non-governmental organization who is independent in the decision making and does autonomous activities.The social organisations in China are very structured and regulated. Such organization is considered as a third department which is tax free, voluntary and commonwealth philanthropic.

My visits to China have triggered my curiosity to discover more and more about China. I had been so inspired with China during my first visit that upon my return I made it a must to learn Mandarin. I realized that to learn more about china and Chinese culture I need to improve my communication skills and started my course at the China Cultural Centre. It has been nearly three years that I am learning mandarin and I am still in the process of learning. I am now more involved in the Chinese culture in Mauritius.

Since my childhood, I was fascinated by fairy tales. Discovering China was just like to be same as "Alice in Wonderland" my favourite fairy tale! My dream to explore, discover and learn has been fulfilled by visiting China. China is a country of wonders, a country of dream, a country full of inspiration, a high tech country in all its spheres. China has definitely been able to successfully occupy a very soft corner in my heart.

 

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