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How I feel Chinese in China

By Muhammad Abdullah | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2013-10-29 16:19

After a tiresome journey of almost seven hours, when my plane landed Harbin Taiping Airport, I was thinking how I would find my university. I shared my problem with my neighbors through the help of English teacher woman. I also showed them my admission letter printed in both English and Chinese languages. My hosts and my well-wisher couple immediately offered me to join them as a car including driver was waiting for them at parking area. I accepted their offer as I had no other option due to language barrier. The distance between Harbin city and airport was quite long and I was even unable to ask them when we would arrive as the translator lady had gone towards her destination.

Finally we entered into Harbin city and after sometime they stopped the car and using the universal language of body parts, they made me understand that they would go on some other direction and I had to go towards some other direction. I understood their problem and paid them many thanks in English language as it was the only source of communication for me at that time. They might have felt my humble accent of saying something and that something was thanks and gratitude. I still pay good wishes for them. May God keep them happy forever. I showed them my mobile phone and also the pencil. They understood my meanings and granted me their cell number. Still at spring festival I send them messages of good wishes and they also show great politeness to me. Through their help I took a taxi and my journey started again. I was thinking how nice and cooperative Chinese people are. In my mother language Urdu, sugar is pronounced as “CHEENI” and Chinese nationals are also pronounced as “CHEENI” in Urdu language. I was thinking perhaps at old times when Urdu language was being developed, someone experienced the sweetness of Chinese people and as a result the Chinese people were allocated a noun which had already been allocated to sugar.

Just within 25 minutes the taxi stopped at a place and it was almost 1:30 am. I showed a mobile phone number to taxi driver and tried to make him understand to make a phone call. He understood my meaning and after a few minutes, an employee appeared near the taxi. I paid fare money to driver and also tried to pay some additional money as a compensation for helping me by allowing me to use his mobile phone but he refused by moving his head and hand. The university employee was very cooperative and he helped me to carry my luggage .Using his mobile phone, I sent a short message to my family members about my safe arrival. After a few minutes, I was at international students building in my new room. The next day the same employee also helped me for shopping.

Chinese language classes had already started, my life became very busy. Chinese language classes and environment helped me a lot to learn Chinese language. One day I made a call to my “helpers” and I introduced myself to them in Chinese language and paid thanks. They showed great pleasure and happiness and blessed me with best wishes. Now this is my final year in China. In the beginning I faced language barrier issues but I never faced any problem from any Chinese person. I have experienced that Chinese people are very friendly and cooperative for foreigners especially. For them, every foreigner is a guest for them and who does not take care the guests. I have never observed any kind of prejudiced behavior or any kind of discrimination from any Chinese.

We, the international students at our university, participate in all the Chinese festivals with great pleasure. The Spring Festival is my favorite festival in China. On this festival international students office of university arranges special get-together party and all the international students and the top management of our university are invited to participate. The officials of provincial government also participate in this party. International students are offered delicious Chinese food and the respectable highly honored president of our university himself comes at our tables to wish us happy spring festival. We share information about Chinese culture with our friends and family members at our respective country hence we become a source to promote the friendly relationship and bring China and our countries close to each other.

From Chinese people I have learnt the message of harmony, peace and respect and I would play the role of an ambassador to promote and convey this message. On the behalf of every international student at China, I am thankful to Chinese government and China scholarship council for providing me and thousands of other scholarship students an opportunity to complete our studies in China. China is making progress by leaps and bounds and my best wishes are with Chinese people and always would be.

Muhammad Abdullah comes from Pakistan and is doing PhD in Northeast Agricultural University in Harbin.

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