My family moved to the United States when I was five years old. Since then, I’ve had some amazing opportunities to travel and see the world. But it wasn’t until my last trip to China that I realized how much you can learn about a culture just by spending time with the older generations. Here are five things I learned about Chinese traditions when visiting my grandparents’ home:
The importance of family and respect for elders
In Chinese culture, family is very important. The older you are, the more respect you deserve. There is an old saying: “A son should be filial to his parents; a subject should be loyal to his sovereign.”
It’s important to show your elders and family members respect by bowing before them when you see them for the first time in the day and when leaving their presence. Younger generations must obey their elders as well; children should listen to their parents’ advice even if they don’t agree with it at first glance (or ever).
How to be respectful of food
When you’re in China, it’s important to be respectful of food. Food is a gift from the earth, given by our ancestors. It represents family and community; it’s also a way for us to give thanks for all that we have been given. Even if you don’t understand why something is important, try to do it anyway because this will help your grandparents feel respected by you as their guest (and also because they might not like it if you don’t).
Here are some examples:
- When eating rice at meals–especially when there are guests present–you should hold your bowl with both hands while eating instead of using chopsticks or spoons like everyone else around the table does; this shows respect for their traditions!
- If someone offers you food and asks whether or not there’s anything else they can get for you afterward (for example: “Can I bring out some water?”), always say yes even though they may already have another person bringing out drinks because they want to make sure everyone has access to something refreshing after every meal!
The value of a well-maintained home
Cleanliness is important.
The value of a well-maintained home is deeply ingrained in Chinese culture, and it’s one of the most fundamental tenets of feng shui–the ancient practice of arranging your surroundings for optimal energy flow. When you enter someone’s house, you can immediately tell whether or not they take pride in their space by how neat it looks. In fact, if you’re invited over for dinner at your grandparents’ home, don’t be surprised if they ask if everything is okay with your apartment before sitting down at the table!
The importance of education and learning
I was lucky enough to spend a month with my grandparents in China. I learned so many things about their culture and traditions, but one of the most important things they taught me was the importance of education and learning.
In China, it’s not only important for children to go to school–it’s a necessity! All children are expected to attend school until they graduate from high school or college (if they choose). If you don’t finish your studies at this level then there is no way you could get any kind of job without going back and finishing up first. And even if you did somehow manage to find work without completing your education, no one would respect your decision not finish out high school or college since everyone knows how hard it is nowadays just getting into those kinds of institutions so why would anyone want an uneducated person working for them?
What it means to be Chinese
When you think about Chinese culture, what does it mean to be Chinese?
In China, there are 56 ethnic groups and over 1 billion people. It’s a country that has been influenced by many different cultures and customs. This means that there is no one way to be Chinese; in fact, there are many different ways!
In my family alone (which includes my grandparents, parents and siblings), we have our own unique traditions that have been passed down through generations of our family members. We all share some similar traits but also have our own individual personalities too.
- We respect our elders because they have lived longer than us–they know so much more than we do! For example: if someone has lived 80 years on earth then they must know something special about life! In some cases this may not always apply but generally speaking most older folks will have something valuable left behind after passing away which makes them worth listening too regardless if they’re right or wrong with their advice/opinion given during conversations with others.. It doesn’t matter how old someone might be either – even children can teach us something new every day so keep an open mind at all times when interacting with others around us because chances are good someone will surprise us someday soon enough 🙂
You can learn a lot about different cultures just by spending time with the older generations.
- You can learn a lot about different cultures just by spending time with the older generations.
- The older generation will teach you how to be respectful of food and clean up after yourself.
- They will also teach you about the value of a well-maintained home, as well as how important it is for everyone in the family to be educated and have good jobs (even if they’re not doctors or teachers).
- And finally, they’ll tell you what it means to be Chinese–which might surprise you!
I hope that this article has inspired you to travel, explore and learn more about other cultures. While it can be intimidating at first, I promise that there is nothing more rewarding than getting out there and meeting new people!