Tag Archives: China

Meet Me at the TRA Overseas Chronicles

#DailyWings: “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you – it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you…hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
-Anthony Bourdain

Almost every summer ever since I can remember, I have made a month-long trip to China to visit family, travel across the country and embrace the culture and heritage of my ancestors. You could say that China (particularly Shanghai, where I am based) is my second home.

Early tomorrow morning, I will be taking a 15-hour flight from NC to Detroit, and then from Detroit to China. I’ve had barely enough time to recover from my busy weekend to and from Ohio, but I couldn’t be more excited. You would think that after years of traveling to the same country I’d get used to it, even tired of it – the same old city with steamed pork buns. And to a certain extent you’d be right. I am afraid that half-growing up in China has led me to take these trips, and thus my own unique culture, for granted. It is deeply ingrained in my daily lifestyle and my values, whether or not I fully realize it. I don’t experience the same marvel and wonder and culture shock that another American college student would while traveling abroad in Asia.

Chinese New Year Festival 2010

The Chinese New Year Festival of 2010 was amazing! At the beginning, I had some troubles with helping friends find the location and had to miss a bit of the show, but it went well otherwise. It got especially fun at the end when I was able to spend time with my family and friends together.

Let me break the festival down:

Who: Anybody was invited to attend
What: Chinese New Year Festival 2010, Year of the Tiger Celebration
Where: The local university’s medical school–Auditorium and Library
When: February 13, 2010 from 5pm to 8:30pm
The Cost: Tickets were $5 for grownups and $3 for children and seniors

Why: To celebrate the Chinese New Year, of course!
The Food: There was a large Chinese buffet (catered by local restaurants) with green beans, lo mein, spring rolls, egg-fried rice, chocolate cake, and much more!
The Performances: There were several traditional dances and songs performed by the local Chinese School teachers and young students, college students, various parents and volunteers. Many of the performances merged China’s culture and the concept of love together. For instance, one of the songs that a young man sang was a typical Chinese song that, according to the commentator, was what a man would sing right before he proposed to his lady love.


Two Places At Once

Two months ago, when the school counselor introduced me to two new sophomores, Charles and Min Qi, who mirrored my Chinese ethnicity and explained that they had just moved from China with very few English skills, I was more than willing to tutor them. Being fluent Mandarin, I thought tutoring them would be as simple as talking to my grandpa in Shanghai on the weekends. I ended up not only tutoring them but also serving as a Chinese-English translator for many weeks to come. Little did I know that this experience taught and benefited me as much as I did them.

Throughout the past few months, both students have introduced me to a new type of friendship that I had never had before, but I have been able to identify and bond with Charles the most. We have similar personalities and both love to laugh. Luckily, we have lunch together, and because his teachers know that I am his special translator, I have the special ability to visit any of his classes as well as homeroom. *sits proudly* During our meetings, we have been able to share so much with each other, everything from culture to personal views to inside jokes to ancedotal incidents.