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Glimpse on My Life in China

Views:676 Time:4/9/2014 12:00:00 AM

(Editor`s note: Ahmed, a student from the Republic of Yemen, is studying for his bachelor`s degree in Harbin Institute of Technology. )

Why I choose China 

My name is Ahmed. I am an Arabian from the Republic of Yemen at the south of Arabic Peninsula at the western part of Asia. China was my choice for futher education after finishing my high school study because I wanted to know more about the culture, the people and the language as well. At that time I didn't have much knowledge about this mysterious country except it was big and powerful. It wasn't a long time since it's established and it's now one of the greatest developing countries in the world. In my country many Chinese people work in Chinese companies in different fields such as Yemen hospitals as doctor specialized in Chinese medicine for many people like to take their treatments. So Yemen government and Chinese government have a very good cooperation since decades ago. Chinese government supports Yemen development. There are around 40 Yemeni students who come to china every year as an education exchange program for bachelor degree or further studies in the mainland of China. 

My first experience in China 

I came to China in September, 2012. At that time I didn't know even a word of Chinese except ''nihao'' which means hello. I could not handle or achieve anything unless a friend of mine who understands Chinese very well interprets for me. I realized how important it was to learn Chinese. Before I came here I never thought that there are other people except Chinese who can speak Chinese very well. In my eyes Chinese characters are just like drawings that only an artist can handle. But when I saw my county-mates can speak it very well, I seemed to have hope that I can learn it well just as they did. I still remember that something happened on my way to Harbin Institute of Technology. At that time my partner and I couldn't speak any Chinese and also we couldn't find anyone for help. No one told us at which stop we should get off. My friend had an Arabian book which were translated into Chinese. Using that book we started a kind of conversation with people on that train. They pointed to the question they wanted to ask like ''where are you from?'' and I looked for the answer in the book so he could see the translation. 

Food for Islam 

The year for the Chinese language learning was the most difficult but most interesting as well. This language is regarded as the most difficult in the world. We had to get used to many things totally different from my home country, such as the food. Islam is the religion that 95% of Arabs believe in. It's prohibited for Islam believers to eat pork or any kind of meat unless it's slaughtered by a Muslim believer and Islam cannot drink any kind of wine or even beer. Most of the Chinese people are not religious believers so they don't have to be bothered by this. So if I wanted to eat in any Chinese restaurant, it was very difficult to find the dish I could eat. Fortunately I found later that some people, called ''Huizu'', who are from minority nationality and Islam as well, run their own restaurants. Even the dining hall of our school has a special sector for people like me. They cook dishes I can eat. That helps a lot in solving this problem. 

I have been in China for 2 years now and still have so many things about the Chinese Cultures that I could not understand. I think to study any other language one important thing is to study their culture as well, because in that way I can understand the language better and even more I can understand the way they think since everyone has its way in thinking and dealing for other people which is caused by his background and the environment he was raised in. 

Sauce: Harbin Institute of Technology

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