Secrets of Shanghai

Authored by:
Ting Li

Being adopted from China, I have always felt a need to connect with my roots and my home country. That was one of the reasons I decided to attend CIEE this summer. Not only did I want to pick up on my Chinese, but I also wanted to experience the culture of China. As I go throughout my daily routine of going to school, eating meals, and doing cultural activities all while taking public transportation or walking, I have been able to observe how Chinese people, especially the children, interact with one another. For as long as I can remember, I have always wondered about my past and what it would be like to have been raised in China. This trip has provided that insight for me. By staying with a host family with such young children, I am able to experience this first-hand. 

If I was raised in China, I would most likely be living in an apartment and have at least one sibling. When going to school, I would wear a red tie around my neck in order to match all of the other children. To get to school, I would take the bus, metro, or walk with a parent by my side. I would eat breakfast at home and my parents would cook for me every day. We would hardly go out to eat, maybe a few times a month. The house would be clean and even more so because I would have to take off my shoes every time I come inside. There is no dryer, so I would have to hang dry my clothes, and no bathtub so I would always bathe in a shower.

These are just some of what I have experienced living in China for four weeks. The way people live their lives so differently than those in America is fascinating and really shows how much a person’s way of life defines their culture. I am so grateful I have been able to experience life in Shanghai for four weeks and receive a true experience of how the Chinese go about their daily lives.

Zoe Seymore

Fort Worth, Texas R. L. Paschal High School

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