In our media, sometimes there is news that the new Chinese President, Xi Jinping, fights against corruption. The daily reader thinks that this is not significant news. We fight against corruption all the time. The result of this fight is that someone else will steal instead. Later, when the reader continues reading, they will see that in our country people write about this in a tabloid way: How many politicians were executed for corruption in a year; since Mao Zedong times, they overthrew the most important party members; and they found the tons of money-loot of this and that politician; and many similar reports. These kinds of news stories sell well, but why doesn’t anybody write about this sort of struggle that is felt every day on the streets?
In China, the celebrations of the founding PRC have started and we decided to celebrate too. Because it was crab season, we wanted to celebrate with a crab dinner, which is typical in Shanghai. Shanghai people love eating according to the seasons. And autumn is a crab season, more precisely from September to December. Eating a crab is no fun. It's a long process and it took me a long time to learn how to do it.
Similar news from China was spread in Slovak and the international media in the last few days. The first one was about how a Chinese employer took 6400 employees to France and the second one was on how another Chinese employer took 12,700 employees to Thailand for a holiday. Of course, these numbers are staggering and also quite unusual for China, but to take employees on holidays is a normal thing in China. It is one of the basic work bonuses that companies tend to offer.
We've got a dog at home. His name's Duoduo, which means in Chinese free translation 'something a little extra' and we got him from a shelter. Yes, from the shelter in China! This article is written for everyone who found this information surprising! When my wife and I uploaded a first picture of our little Duoduo on Facebook and wrote that our new family member is from the shelter, the first comments shocked us. I made up a test. Try to give someone around you two tasks. First, tell them to make ten sentences with the words 'dog' and 'China'.
What does a person from our country imagine a Chinese factory to be like? An old, damaged building where the children sew cheap socks that immediately fall apart? Or something like the Foxconn factory (makes Apple products) that is massively funded by the West and is abusing Chinese workers?
Weddings in China are very much different, that they are in Europe. I am not talking about various wedding traditions... Just the idea of having a wedding is so much different between West and East. Imagine a big wedding in Slovakia. For instance, in a castle with a carriage and harnessed horses, a live band and lavish food...does it sound expensive? Not in Shanghai, because even such an expensive Slovak wedding costs nothing compared to an average wedding in Shanghai. There it normally costs more than 20,000 Euros. And it is not easy for a man to avoid this big amount of money. Why?
Chinese Jubilees, celebrating big birthdays in China. In China celebrating one year before the real jubilee is done only by people who are going to be turning fifty or sixty. Actually, the truth is that Chinese people aren’t supposed to celebrate their birthdays before they turn fifty.
Gift giving in China is not easy. After all, there is nothing really simple in China. There are things you should do, can do, shouldn’t do and definitely cannot do. Most of the rules are about what you “should not” or “cannot” do, of course. Chinese people love to play with their language and with Chinese characters. Reason is, many things sound very similar or exactly the same, but they are actually written very differently and they have different, sometimes even opposite, meanings. So most of the gift giving rules have something to do with the language.
Alcohol in China is colorful. There are red ones, white ones, yellow ones. What does it mean? Red alcohol is wine, but both white and red wines are called “red alcohol” in the Chinese language. Of course there is a name for grape wine in general; in Chinese characters, it is written as “alcohol from grapes”. Then you can add a character before it to describe if it is red or white wine. So ...
If somebody has traveled around China, surely they have had the experience of seeing crowds standing and shouting out in front of any train or bus station. They usually shout in Chinese, but when they see a foreigner, they start to use the only English word they know, “Taxi! Taxi!” This is no official service, but so-called black taxis. I try not to use them, but sometimes there is no other choice. However, the experience is always unique.