Chop sticks, cheongsam, tantalizing Chinese food and total immersion in Mandarin through wonderful local friends, makes our first trip into China and Beijing, more exciting than we had imagined. So far, the food has been spectacular, with many different kinds of cuisine for a sophisticated palate. We have had some organic food, but alas it's not as easy to stay on our travel health ways as it is in Penang.
We've learned a lot about Chinese culture and Chinese ceremony through Mozart's Mandarin school in Penang and the very large Chinese community there that works hard to retain their culture. Even a large Chinese community abroad like that has to work to keep their culture, but in China, Chinese IS the culture, so a new perspective is seen here.
Beijing is a very vibrant, cosmopolitan city like New York, full of great art and restaurants, amazing shopping, majestic sights, artistic architecture and exotic food. We're getting a whole new view and perspective about Asia, Chinese culture and Mandarin.
When Mozart watches this video now, (hat we made when she was 10 just before she started her Mandarin school in Asia), she thinks her Mandarin accent is horrible. She has worked hard and has come a long way. We'll have to make more videos of her progress now. Our hope is she will make even a bigger jump in this environment with our focus in that area.
Yesterday, out of the blue, Mozart quoted the 弟子规 ( Di Zi Gui) to our local friend and he was so surprised as he had never met a non-Chinese person who knew it. This is a classic book by Chinese saints and sages that teaches loving compassion and virtue. We can thank her Mandarin school for that as she has been reading it there from the beginning as it teaches the culture and values.
Many expats living in Beijing and other parts of China, ( even for a decade and more) never learn much of the language, but for those who are interested in learning it, there are endless opportunities here. Mozart's strong Mandarin gives her a leg up, as it's best to do these kind of immersion opportunities when one's language is already strong, to help refine it without feeling totally lost and discouraged with the speed of normal talk.
Tomorrow, we start at the school, get to know the mass transit and have our new phone and Beijing sim cards to connect us more.
What is your favorite Chinese food? Where have you had the best Chinese food and what does it tell you about Chinese culture?