4 Ways to Experience Chinese Culture
China has one of the oldest civilizations on the planet, and it has had a huge influence on the Asian continent. Likewise, China has influenced the rest of the world, from ancient times to the present. From the ancient Silk Road to modern seaborne shipping containers, China’s products and people have spanned the globe.
If you want to explore Chinese culture, there are plenty of ways to do so where ever you are. Here are four ways to experience Chinese culture without leaving home.
Visit a Local Chinatown
While San Francisco is home to the most famous Chinatown, many cities across the United States have one. Chinatowns are simply areas within a larger city where many Chinese people have relocated. Here you can find traditional Chinese shops, foods and overall culture.
You may even be able to attend public performances of Chinese arts, such as the Dragon Dance. Likewise, art galleries full of exquisite, traditional sculptures and paintings will delight you. Chinese calligraphy is an art form in its own right. There is so much to do in Chinatown, plan a whole day to explore it all.
Watch a Chinese Movie, with Sub-Titles
China has produced many fascinating films for over a century. In fact, many popular Hollywood stars, such as Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Fan Bingbing, crossed over from Chinese cinema. While they may be the most popular Chinese movies, don’t just watch martial arts action flicks. Search out titles that explore other aspects of Chinese life and culture.
Go Out for Dim Sum
Most Chinese restaurants won’t really offer a variety of truly authentic Chinese dishes. However, if you have a restaurant near you that offers dim sum, you can sample many uniquely Chinese foods. Dim sum is usually served at brunch, and servers go around with carts filled with a variety of single-serving dishes to sample. Dim sum originated in the Canton region of China, possibly as far back as the 10th century.
Try Tai Chi Class
Many forms of martial arts originate in China, and Tai Chi is very popular right now. However, today, Tai Chi is mostly viewed as a way to build strength, coordination as well as de-stress. It’s very likely you can find a Tai Chi class in your community. Most of these classes are taught by Chinese masters, who can also teach you aspects of Chinese philosophy.
Chinese culture is everywhere, you simply need to look. In fact, Chinese people have made the United States, as well as many areas of the world home for a very long time. If you go in with an open heart, the Chinese people will gladly share their culture with you.