Tuesday, 27 May 2014
Taking a break from lessons to explore China
WRITTEN BY: Stephanie Chan
This week, besides the theory classes, we've had cultural classes such as calligraphy, tai-chi and a cooking class! The calligraphy class taught us how to hold a brush, and dip it into the ink to create strokes to write characters. I’ve had a little previous experience so it was easier for me to grasp the concept of. Tai-chi brought in another expert to teach us the basic rhythm of the art form, and I gained a new found respect for the soft but strong movements, and the meditative yet concentrated approach to tai-chi as a whole.
Cooking class was a ball of fun as we partnered up and learned to make 3 dishes of Chinese cuisine: tomato and fried eggs, kung pow chicken, and sweet and sour pork. With more experience than others, because both me and Oskar cook at home, I reckon our group’s dishes certainly gave our fellow competitors’ a run for their money!
Continuing with the thrill of this program, we were offered two group tours: the Summer Palace and the Great Wall. The Day of the Great Wall was full of excitement for me. Hopping off the bus that took us there, gentle snowflakes were starting to fall from the sky and I was so excited to see snow, as snow is a rare occurrence for me back in Sydney, Australia especially because I don’t even do snow sports like skiing or snowboarding.
The Great Wall was much harder to climb than expected, the steps would reach to almost half your body height and stepping on them was much effort. But I climbed it with a group of friends and in the end, instead of giving up and staying back like most in my group, I told myself I had to make it to the top (it’s part of my Chinese blood, there’s a saying that you aren’t a true Chinese unless you have climbed the Great Wall). So Matt – a German friend – and I, successfully climbed the Great Wall, to the top! (the top of this part of the Wall where we were at). After the Great Wall, we tuned in to watch a Chinese martial arts style performance which was pretty spectacular.