International Voices ENGLISH LANGUAGE INSTITUTE, GEORGE FOX UNIVERSITY Read all about it! To read more International Voices essays look for the other editions. International Voices is an annual publication of the English Language Institute of George Fox University. The mission of the English Language Institute (ELI) at George Fox University is to develop the language and academic skills of students whose native language is not English and to raise ENGLISH LANGUAGE INSTITUTE, GEORGE FOX UNIVERSITY Volume 20, Edition A Fall 2011 their level of cultural and spiritual awareness in order to prepare them for academic and social success at George Fox University. The Difference Between Chinese Cities and American Cities Check out the International Club on campus for fun activities and opportunities to broaden We hope that the your worldview! Contact Dianna McIntyre, Advisor, [email protected] students’ writing in International Voices The Relationship Between Students and Professors by Yijiao Wang Different languages, different foods, different communication methods, different lifestyles--everything in America is totally different from China. Studying abroad is really amazing because it gives us opportunities to broaden our vision and accumulate experiences. In order to study better, it is indispensable for international students to learn more about American educational methods. The most conspicuous difference in the education system between America and China, I have noticed, is the relationship between professors and students. In China, students always show their respect to professors through obeying the regulations in classes. It is not very polite for a student to express individual opinions during class, and a student should raise his or her hand to get permission if he or she wants to answer a professor's question. Maybe you will think it is weird to do that; however, it is based on the different traditions and the culture of China. Students in China use this behavior, perhaps not exactly properly, to display our respect to teachers. On the contrary, the situa- tion is different in America. Since arriving in America, I have observed that students are more casual during class. It is very common to respond to professors directly when students have questions or disagreements. Students can express their own opinions at any time and professors are always glad and patient to discuss with students. They always build a harmonious friendship rather than just a relationship between teachers and students. In conclusion, in class, Chinese students are more solemn than American students. From my perspective, there are a large number of advantages to being active in class. As for myself, I can focus my attention on lectures and follow professors all the way if I have interaction with them, and I can comprehend the knowledge more accurately and completely through discussions. International students should pay more attention to, and adapt to, this active atmosphere because it is the prerequisite to achieving their academic degree. In this way, they can learn more easily – like ducks take to water. will inspire you to by Ramos Zou reach out to international students I came to America about half a year you are in the country or town. I think ago. The biggest surprise for me is you also would agree that it is really American cities. These cities have big differences from Chinese cities. In bustling. In America, there are no dif- University and seek ferences between daytime and night- friendship America, cities have tranquility, good time, because they are both quiet. In traffic, cleanliness, and beautiful build- this summer vacation, it was really ings. I liked American cities when I saw hard for me to sleep when I was in them my first time. In China, cities are China, but since I came to America, I not like American cities. have been sleeping very well, whether The first difference is tranquil- daytime or nighttime. ity. In America most of the cities are The second difference is that quiet, but in China, there are many loud American traffic is very good, even if noises everywhere and all the time. For most Americans sometimes think the example, in Portland, you can just see a traffic is terrible. I think American traf- few people who are walking on the fic is really good at all times compared street in the daytime, but in China, you with Chinese traffic. In China, there is can hardly walk in the daytime, because it is very crowded there. The Chinese cities’ nighttime is busier than Port- at George Fox and understanding. Inside this issue: STEPHANIE CHEN 3 BORIS XU 4 ZIYI QI 5 JINYUAN CHENG 6 JIATENG GUO 7 YIJIAO WANG 8 a huge population, so there are many cars. Especially in the city, the traffic is very crowded and you land’s daytime. You can hear noise in China no matter where you are, even if (continued on page two) Volume 20, Edition A International Voices Hometown Festivals The Difference Between Chinese Cities and American Cities continued from page one THE CHINESE can’t find room to drive. In the Chinese buildings from a fairy tale. But in CITIES’ countryside, the situation is better China, the buildings are boring, and than in the city, but it is much worse the same buildings are everywhere. In than in America. The number of cars is America, buildings are made from NIGHTTIME IS BUSIER THAN not too great, but the traffic rules are wood, and I think this is very good, PORTLAND’S confusing, and just a few people ob- because it’s environmental. In China, DAYTIME. serve driving etiquette. The drivers buildings are made from cement and change lanes anywhere, just because reinforcing steel bar. My house is a they want to, and manners are nothing villa, and in China it is better than for them. One day, when my mother most people’s, but I also think it is and I were driving from city to village, I ugly. saw people and vehicles crossing inter- I like American cities, espe- sections whether the traffic light was cially their tranquility, good traffic, red or green. cleanliness, and beautiful buildings. I Third, in America, you can find also like my mother country, and I that it is clean. But in China, especially wish its cities can be like American in some cities, you will be thinking you cities one day. are at a waste-yard. In America, it is hard to find rubbish on the ground, but in China, it is hard to find no rubbish on the ground. If you are a garbage collection member in China, I think you will be a rich man. My uncle was a garbage collection member when he was young, and now he has a lot of money. Last but not least, there are many beautiful buildings in the U.S. These buildings are fantastic and like Page 2 by Jiateng Guo I come from Shandong province, China which is Confucius’ hometown, and is a province with a rich cultural background and rich cultural activities. There are many local festivals held there every year. Let me introduce to you two different kinds of famous festivals. The first type of festival is represented by the Weifang International Kite Festival and the Heze International Peony Festival. The second kind of festival is the Qufu International Confucius Cultural Festival. Since 1984, The Weifang International Kite Festival has been held every year from April 20th to 25th in Weifang, which is known as the "city of kites." This event attracts kite enthusiasts from many countries and regions all over the world. Many excellent kites are displayed and flown during the festival. There are so many different kinds of kites: Beijing opera masks, dragons, swallows, sleds and so on. Recently, some kite designers are keeping a close eye on current trends and continue to innovate. You can see novelty kites, diamond kites, and some that are like rockets or water cubes. All of them are very lively. The second festival is the Heze International Peony Festival. Heze is my parent’s hometown, so I have gone to this festival twice; the flowers are so gorgeous there because Heze has a 400 year history of planting peonies. Since 1992, the Heze International Peony Festival has been held 14 times. It is held during the months of April and May, every year. The festival has over 20 activities, including the opening ceremony, and the square art performances. During this festival, Heze’s peony garden is an ocean of flowers; there are more than 1100 different species, 9 colors and 10 patterns of these flowers. The third festival is the Qufu International Confucius Cultural Festival. As we all know, Confucius was a famous educator and ideologist in Chinese history. So a festival is held from September to October in order to remember and carry forward the Confucian culture. Some of the activities during this time include: sacrificial ceremonies, and tours of both the Temple and Cemetery of Confucius and of the Kong Family Mansion. There are also some antique Confucian dance shows and archery performances. These three festivals represent the culture of my hometown; there are so many different festivals held every year in my hometown. So, welcome to China and welcome to Shandong. Page 7 THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF KITES: BEIJING OPERA MASKS, DRAGONS, SWALLOWS, SLEDS ... Volume 20, Edition A International Voices Food in Different Countries Hong Kong—A Place That Represents Freedom by Jinyuan Cheng BECAUSE OF THE ‘ONE COUNTRY, TWO SYSTEMS’ POLICY, THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN HONG KONG ENJOY A KIND OF ATMOSPHERE THAT THE MAINLAND CHINESE PEOPLE WILL NEVER KNOW. As we all know, China is a socialist country, but Hong Kong and Macau are the only two capitalist cities in this country. Because of the “One country, two systems” policy, the people who live in Hong Kong enjoy a kind of atmosphere that the mainland Chinese people will never know. Hongkongnese are free to have their beliefs. Hong Kong was ruled by the United Kingdom for ninetynine years, which makes it an intercultural city. Therefore, under the influence of the Englishmen, there are many Christians and Churches in Hong Kong, and they do the same things as the other Christians do around the world. Also, some Hongkongnese believe in Falum Gong Cul, a religion that is forbidden in China. (In some cases people who believe in it will be put into prison!) In addition, Hongkongnese are free to express their opinions to society. The Chinese government spends a lot of money and manpower to block news that they regard as sensitive political matters. by Stephanie Chen However, Hongkongnese just say, “No way!” For example, the governments in Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau are building a “Y” shaped bridge; when the engineers worked hard on the two parts in Guangdong and Macau, the procession of the bridge project in Hong Kong had to be postponed because an old woman who lives near the new bridge questioned the environmental assessment report. The Chinese Government couldn’t help Hong Kong’s government on it because of the “one country, two systems” policy! Those are two differences between living in mainland China and living in Hong Kong. I think Hong Kong is like the United States since people can do and say whatever they want (except crimes of course). When you think about the differences in food between China and America, what’s the first thing to come to your mind? Chopsticks and forks? The food style? These are differences. But just a little part. The meaning of a good cook and what aspects of food people care about are very different. Firstly, the meaning of a good cook is totally different in the taste of the food while Americans care about the nutrition of food. Americans are particular about the caloric, vitamin and protein content. They eat one kind of food every day. They eat because they need nutrition. In China, we don't care if the food is healthy. We only care about the taste of food. There are four China than in America. points of perfect food in Since I came to America, I understand this point more. I have seen how Americans cook. have cookbooks of West- delicious food. But for Chinese food, I think a cookbook won’t work. In China, people from different places have their own styles of making food. In the south of China, they like sweet food. The people in the north like salty. And in the east, people eat spicy, and in the west people like sour. To cook food, all you need is experience choos- should have "nice HEALTHY. WE "good smell,” ONLY CARE "delicious taste" and a ABOUT THE when we put the taste even tells you the size of you follow the cookbook, you can cook THE FOOD IS the taste. What a pity, sugar you need. The book the egg you need! It's hidebound. If food The most important is plains how much flour and DON'T CARE IF Perfect “beautiful appearance.” ern food. The book ex- IN CHINA, WE China. color," They ing and seasoning food. Page 6 Secondly, Chinese care about in the first place, we ignore the nutrition when the food is cooked. It's the biggest weakness of Chinese food. The special glamour of Chinese food is the production of taste—the taste of the food itself, the taste after the food has been cooked, and the seasoning. They help each other and become a special taste. The food is a special way to find the differences in two cultures. Page 3 TASTE OF FOOD. Volume 20, Edition A International Voices My Experience at Fox by Boris Xu CHAPEL MAY BE ONE OF THE MOST SPECIAL THINGS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN A CHRISTIAN UNIVERSITY. I am Boris. I have been at Fox for a year. Fox is a Christian university which I had never been to and had totally no idea about. Today I would love to share some of my experiences at Fox with you. Here are my experiences of going to chapel and getting along with people at Fox. Chapel may be one of the most special things for international students in a Christian university. I had never gone to any chapel before I came to Fox. I have no idea, even today, whether there are any differences between our chapel and the church that I go to with my host family. I do like to sing together with others in chapel with the fantastic band. Maybe one of the reasons is that the melody and all of the songs’ lyrics are pretty simple. There always is a speech after singing. Sometimes during the speech, I have trouble understanding it because of the vocabulary or because I fall asleep. There was a time I was trying to finish my homework and submit it on FoxTALE in chapel time, but I failed. There is no Wi-Fi in that whole area. Then I found someone was smiling at me in the dark, “Freshman, aren’t you? Don’t waste your time on trying this. There is no Wi-Fi in this room. ” Yes, chapel is fun. And it is Page 4 Valentine’s Day by Ziyi Qi fun to meet people in the lobby before chapel also. Students at Fox are amazing in a way that is unimaginable. Fox people are kind of different than the American standard in my mind. They are nice, passionate, and peaceful. Once I fell from my long board when I was going super fast down the canyon to class. I hit a little rock on the road. It really hurt. I was lying on the roadside and could not stop groaning. Then a girl showed up like an angel from God. She came close and asked in a voice that made it sound like I was dying: “Are you okay?” “I’m good.” I regretted those words at the moment I heard myself say them. I was not, obviously. “Would you mind if I pray for you?” I actually had no idea what would happen. I was reading her face while she was praying, because it was so painful that I couldn’t focus on her words, and I found peace. She let me feel that God was with me at least at that moment. Thank you, American angel. That’s right. Everything I have talked about is related to Christianity because Fox is a Christian university. I benefit from this. I can have a break in our chapel after the morning classes. And it is so comforting to get along with Fox’s people. I am glad I am here. What do you think is the most interesting festival you have ever experienced? For me, it is Valentine’s Day. Couples exchange chocolates, roses, and gifts on that day. Shops are decorated with pink hearts and fancy roses. I am not going to expound upon the Western Valentine’s Day, but rather, I will introduce the Chinese Valentine’s Day. The Chinese Valentine’s Day is celebrated on July 7th, based on the lunar calendar. The tradition is from a lovely, but also sad, story. In the tale, there are two main characters whose names are Niulang, the husband, and Zhinv, the wife. And, in the story, there are also lucky birds called magpies. This lovely pair, Niulang and Zhinv, can only meet once a year. That is because Zhinv broke a law of heaven. Her punishment is that she can’t see her husband until the Chinese Valentine’s Day. Because she is in the heaven, and her husband is a normal man who resides on earth, on July 7th , the magpies establish a bridge with their bodies and help the couple meet. It is well known that Chinese people are very shy and show their emotions indirectly, particularly love between lovers. As a result, my parents generation and before didn’t pay attention to this passionate festival. Nowadays, it has become the favorite festival of the youth. In Europe and other Western countries, gentlemen give the roses to the ladies they admire to show their love. The ladies also give chocolates to the gentlemen in return. It is almost the same in China because of the impact of Western culture. The Chinese Valentine’s Day differs from the Western Valentine’s Day, which is on the 14th of February. The Western and the Chinese traditions come from different stories. Otherwise, they are celebrated in almost the same way. THE CHINESE VALENTINE’S DAY IS CELEBRATED ON JULY 7TH, BASED ON THE LUNAR CALENDAR. THE TRADITION IS The Western Valentine’s Day and the Chinese traditional Valentine’s Day are two of the most romantic and lovely festivals. People exchange gifts and love notes with each other, and make promises for the future about love, and the singles make wishes for someone to love. Even though the Chinese Valentine’s Day is not exactly the same as the Western one, the Chinese Valentine’s Day is still influenced by Western customs, anyway. Page 5 FROM A LOVELY, BUT ALSO SAD, STORY.