Friday, February 08, 2008

Something I learned in Shanghai

It is my first time experience of a typical Chinese New Year celebration in China. Athough is extremely cold here for me, the warm of my Chinese friends around keep my mood alive. Before the strike of 12 mid night, the firecrackets and firework were thundering all over the Shanghai city where I am staying now. I had heard and seen our Malaysian firecrackets but never could imagine the amount of powerful firecrackets being lighted to usher the Rat of the Chinese New Year in style last nite. It was a memory I will cheerish forever.

Shanghai is a cosmopolitan city where all Chinese in China are proud to show to the entire world. Something I picked up while learning from my friends here. The rich in Shanghai eats more food than rice. Only those who can't afford much, eat more rice. If you are invited to a dinner, don't be surprised that rice is not available, unless you request for it. Not before when China was poor. They ate more rice than anything else then. Progress has changed them to eat in style and taste currently. I was reminded to follow some rules while dining with the Shanghainese. Eat only when my host starts eating, for this is their manner and respect. Drinking is a must in the Chinese culture. The host would toast their guests until they are drunk to show they are happy with the invitation. I was a lousy drinker but I pretended I was drunk to aplease my host.

Another unique culture I observed in Shanghai. Ladies in this city are treated with pride and honour by their males. Men do the cooking at home while the women relax in comfort at home. Even when they are out shopping, their men carry their handbags. Something you won't see in other parts of the world. Back home, no girl friend of mine would allow me to carry their handbags. May be they are afraid that I might take their belonging away. For the girls at home, if you want to get an ideal man, consider a Shanghainese gentleman. They would pamper you all the way as a lady for life. For the man like me, I don't think I will ever fall in love with a female here.

Time has changed China beyond imagination. 50 years ago, my parents had to send money back to China to help their families. Not today any longer. Instead they are even richer than us.

The definition of happiness by Ambrose Bierce; "Happiness: An agreeable sensation arising from contemplating the misery of another."

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