by You Fun Travel Contributing Writer, Jenny Chen
It would never be an easy job to be a guide in China, as it is a country of a long history, rich and continuous culture and the large population. Such a profound country has been greatly misunderstood and even its own people are not able to understand and to appreciate. Therefore, a guide to China shoulders the responsibilities to show the very best and also the true side of China.
Facing the impact of western ideology, anything different is considered odd or even improper, which results in prejudice. Under prejudice, China is ambitious, aggressive and trying to be the number one. Reports are everywhere about how much work China did in equipping its army and how much danger is hidden in such a situation. A red China is forced to be isolated, though from the bottom of their heart, they are the most peace-loving people. A country based on farming is self-sufficient, so their focus falls on how to create wealth from their own land, and fortunately, this piece of land is fertile. Missing of chronic insecurity is not likely to happen here, on the contrary, conservativeness and self-defense easily grow. For that reason, any word like explore, initiate, or invade is new to Chinese. Well, it’s far away from being a perfect country, conflicts are still going on somewhere, but separate events can not represent China.
Are Chinese superstitious? Superstitious is defined as believing in old ideas, ideas that have not been proven by science. Where does science come from? From human’s wisdom, and where do human beings come from? from nature! So personally I think superstition in China is more like awe and respect to nature. After long-term observation of nature, many ideas came out, some of which are regarded as being superstitious. Compared with nature, human is like a drop in the ocean, and a great number of phenomenons remained unexplained, because nature is too big to be fully known and understood by us. China is one of the few countries, or I would rather say the old China is grateful and respectful to nature, mother of all beings. So it explains some of Chinese superstitious ideas, for instance, they believe in all kinds of god, god of cloud, wind, wealth and god of earth. Though none of the three biggest religions has ever been dominant in people’s spiritual life here in China, it’s hard to say there is no religion in this country, because Chinese have their own faith, not god, Buddha, nor Ala, it’s nature.
Is history boring? Especially China’s history, which sounds very complicated. It’s apparently not a great idea to tell people from different background every detail of each dynasty in history of China, but if history of China is shown on chart, law of history is easily got. What is the law? From the book “My country and my people”, Chinese history is divided into cycles of eight hundred years. Each cycle begins with a very strong centralized ruling power and is followed by four or five centuries’ peace and prosperity. Then social problems lead to peasants’ uprising, succeeded by successive wars and conflicts. After that a strong and powerful government stood out and unified the whole country, which is the end of the cycle. Let’s look at China after it enters the time of the systematic record of history in Zhou Dynasty. The cycle starts from Qin dynasty, the first emperor in Qin unified China in 221B.C., after over four hundred years’ economic booming, uprising fell at the end of eastern Donghan, throughout Wei, Jin Northern and southern Dynasties, chaos has never been stopped. The second cycle begins with Sui Dynasty in 589 A.D., several centuries’ well-off life builds China into a superpower. Then time of turmoil comes at the end of Tang. The third cycle comes in Ming Dynasty in 1368, Ming and early Qing creates another peak time in history of China, upheavals last till Chairman Mao’s time. The fourth cycle starts from 1949, when new China was set up. Based on law of Chinese history, perhaps China is going to flourish in the coming centuries……
Is China smoggy and dirty? A fast developing country like China is for sure going through serious environmental problems, pollution is really everywhere. Sometimes, we are too sad to open our eyes in an originally-beautiful place but damaged by a word called “greed”. But it doesn’t mean that the whole country has nothing beautiful left. A vast and gorgeous land accumulated numerous stories that is resistible to any kind of damage. What we are willing to do is to let people know about it.