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My favorite Chinese friends

Updated: 2011-07-18 09:43
By Diljeet Kumar Giyani (

It has been more than 10 months now I am living in Beijing. I was very excited when I got selected as a scholar to obtain my master degree from China through Pakistan-China Cultural Exchange Scholarship Program.

My favorite Chinese friends

Diljeet Kumar Giyani pose with Chinese kids in an undated photo. [Photo provided to] 

It was certainly a great opportunity for my professional career, but what was cherishing me more was the chance to live among Chinese people, as I always wanted to learn about their life style, culture, customs, traditions and in fact everything about them. I wanted to explore as much as I can about this great civilization, especially the social system of China. Along with being excited to get this opportunity, I was a little afraid as well about whether I can adjust or not in this completely different society and about how much difficult it will be to survive among the people about which I knew a very little and whose language was nothing more than some strange sounds like "chi cha chu chi" for me.

I had many self-made ideas about their everyday life and people's behavior. But after arriving here, things were completely different. I had a misconception that Chinese people are self-centered and impolite; and that they don't care about other people, especially non-Chinese speakers. But the fact is, they are very calm and don't interfere in others' matters in any way until they are requested to do so.

I have found people really very friendly and cooperative, completely opposite to what I had in my mind about them. They are a little shy at breaking the ice, but once you start conversation with them, their response is very polite and pleasant. And if you ask for any help, they leave all their personal matters aside and help you first even if you are a stranger. Be it of any kind, they don't leave any chance to help others and they often go very extra mile for that cause. Though there is a strong language gap, but they do their best to understand you and help you out - a habit that I really love.

My favorite Chinese friends

Diljeet Kumar Giyani pose with a Chinese kid in an undated photo. [Photo provided to] 
It has been a nice journey so far and I have really learnt a lot along with enjoying my life here. What has attracted me most till now is the cute Chinese kids; especially their friendly and bold attitude. Their innocent and daring way to interact with people and play around makes them very loveable. I always find them very smart and attentive in whatever they do. And what I have observed is their attitude is always positive; they never are disappointed even if they fail to do something.

Once I went for skiing to Badaling Skiing Resort in Beijing and I was completely surprised when I saw many kids between the age of 4 to 8 putting on the skiing kits. On asking some of the parents, I came to know that few of those kids were very first time on the skiing tracks. It was difficult even for many adults to keep balance in the beginning and some even gave up after falling sometimes, but the way kids were enjoying themselves really inspired me a lot. I noticed one of the kids for some time and I found that every time he fell down, he had a cute smile on his face and tried to get up, brushed the snow off his clothes and be ready for his next attempt. I have had same experience on many other places as well, like skating, cycling, ice-skating etc.

In our campus, many parents and grandparents bring their kids to play in playground every day. Apart from playing, I found them very friendly at interacting with people as well. They don't feel shy or hesitation while greeting strangers, even foreigners; rather they react very confidently. I really love the way I'm often greeted by passer by kids, saying "Hello" or "Hi" in their sweet voice. Due to introduction of English in kindergarten system, many kids can speak some basic English, so they feel very excited when they see any foreigners and greet them - you would have certainly experienced it if you have had some time in China. Sometimes I also try to use my poor Chinese to communicate with them and really get impressed with their response.

Whenever I go for outing, I never miss any chance to take some photographs with these smart kids because it's very cute when they make victory sign with their hands, which is the most common pose for photography among Chinese. Their response impressed me on this occasion as well because normally kids in my hometown feel very shy or afraid if any stranger ask them to take photograph with. Xiao pengyou - the salutation used to address kids in Chinese, meaning little friend, truly fits to these friendly sweeties. In fact I am yet to see any kid crying.

I really feel short of words to describe my feelings for these little lovely stars, but I am very happy to say that these kids are my favorite Chinese friends and they are what I like most in China.

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My favorite Chinese friends