A few things that are (not) true about China

This week I want to clean up with some wrong images you might have thinking of China, and correct the picture you might have in your mind.
1) Chinese love to eat cats and dogs
Although eating our beloved pets in China is not such an odd thought as it would be for us, dog and cat are certainly not part of the Chinese cuisine. The weirdest things I have eaten here so far are frog and silk caterpillar (first tasting like chicken and the other one being pure proteins). However, Chinese do have a rather different relationship to animals as we do. The Chinese word for it literally means “moving things” and that is what they are considered to be. The fish you can buy for less than one euro from the supermarket where they are kept in tiny boxes or the fact that the frogs that I ate were put into boiling water without killing them are proof for that. But as I said, my fears of finding brothers of my beloved cat Hermes on my plate will luckily not come true.
Also, China is long past being the conservative and communist country we picture it. At least in Beijing, there are a lot of people who free themselves from traditional ties and live life in their own way. Just as you would find in any western society, people keep chasing their dreams, be it accumulating riches, traveling the world or working in the field that you love. However, many traditions still are in place and have an influence on people. One should marry and stay married to raise healthy kids, and the will of the elderly is still law of the family.  But the Chinese are masters in one thing: smile, and adapt.
It is true that they show feelings in a very different way than we do. They don’t discuss their problems openly and can smile at a person they are actually really angry at. The feeling that “you can’t read them” that many foreigners get are certainly true. But it is a very good lesson to learn to distinguish a true smile from a fake one.
Many traditions we hear about, however, are true and we can be happy so. Traditional Chinese dresses look gorgeous, the temples look like Turandot might walk out of them every minute, and markets are crowded and sell porcelain and silk drawings.  I also love the red lanterns in the street. Especially when there is smog, they give you the feeling of being in this strange, mysterious place I imagined China to be as a little kid.
Greetings from the mists,


2 thoughts on “A few things that are (not) true about China

  1. Dear Marie Theres,
    5c has just read your blog about Chinese eating habits and we are fascinated by the vivid description of the boiling frogs. We wonder if any of the frogs has survived and told you what the weather will be like in the next week.

    From awe-inspiring 5c (yes, they got the same vocab sheets as you, teachers are just lazy).

    All the best
    Senuu mini necz (from Tim from Mongolia)
    Martina & 5c


    1. Dear 5c and dear Mrs. Pfistermüller,

      sadly, I have to tell you that all of the frogs landed in our hungry stomages, if one had survived he would probably have told us that winter is comming – we had our first snow here this week and tempratures up to – 7 degrees.
      Frogs is actually not the only thing getten eaten these days – I have tried silk- caterpillar and sheep’s tounge.

      Just to calm you down, chinese also eat normal food and I tried mouth-watering Beijing- duck today. (See, Mrs. Pfistermüller, I also remember our vocab sheets).
      I was also lucky enough to be invited to a traditional tee ceremony – I never knew how complicated and extravagantly the chinese relative of our common teabag gets to be served!

      Frosty greetings from Beijing,



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