Opinion / From the Readers

Happy Year of the Horse

(China Daily) Updated: 2014-02-12 08:05

I have been living in China for a decade. Married to a Chinese woman, I see China as my preferred home. During my first couple of years in China, I used to feel left out during Chinese festivities because I had no idea of how to fit in with the people. But over time I have understood that the negative picture the Western media had painted about China and the Chinese people was the reason I felt left out during Chinese festivities.

After I began interacting with Chinese people, I realized that they are generous, friendly and hospitable. They opened their homes and hearts for me and gradually helped change my perceptions about the country and the people.

Marrying a Chinese woman gave me the opportunity to grasp the essence of being a Chinese. I learned the value of humility from her. Most Western people tend to be arrogant and self-centered, which is not at all the case with Chinese. Watching Chinese people taught me to be compassionate and magnanimous toward the less fortunate.

By observing Chinese people share the joys and pleasures of Spring Festival with their family members and friends, I learned how important family gatherings and celebrations are for them.

I wish Chinese people a very happy Spring Festival and hope the Year of the Horse brings them more exhilarating benefits, excellent health and long-lasting success.

Thabet Hassan, via e-mail

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