(China-280) March 3, 2019 – MY CHINA ALBUM – my contribution in 3 photos

The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China and China Daily will co-host a story sharing event entitled “My China Album” to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and the United States of America. The event is sponsored by China General Chamber of Commerce – USA (CGCC) and China National Tourist Office in New York. It will highlight the profound friendship between the Chinese and American people, captured through the photographs and accompanying captions.

Participants of the event submit up to 3 photos with accompanying captions limited to 300 words or less, explaining the person-to-person exchange or relationship exemplified through the visual aspect of the submission. Submissions should be made either by email or to a physical address, for those wishing to mail hard copies, both to be provided and coordinated by China Daily.

You can submit your entries either to mychinaalbum@chinadailyusa.com OR

My China Album

529 14th Street, NW

Suit 1108

Washington, DC, 20045

PERSONAL NOTE: I SUBMITTED the following three photos to MY CHINA ALBUM. Enjoy them. Peace, STEVE, USA, March 3, 2019   stephenehling@hotmail.com  blog – https://getting2knowyou-china.com

 

talkshow

PHOTO 1 – TALK SHOW

Starting my 3rd year of my seven years as an American visiting professor at Xiamen University Tan Kah Kee College, Fujian Province, and with the enthusiastic support of the English Department, I started a monthly Talk Show and initiated the Speak English Bracelet. It grieved me to discover many university students, even those who majored in English, could not speak decent simple English with me or hold a simple English conversation. (Students across China continue to score lowest in Speaking in national English proficiency tests today.) Using the input-output concept, I realized the root cause of this strange phenomenon across China: To speak well (output) you need to listen well (input). Children learn to speak by listening daily. It dawned on me that in China, from elementary to junior to high school, many so-called English teachers are not fluent in their spoken English and they persist in using Chinese to teach English in most classes. Even in colleges today. A female veteran high school English teacher in Chongqing confessed to me recently: “I am embarrassed my spoken English is not good”! As The Host of The Talk Show, my primary goal was to expose our students to listen to those who were proficient and articulate in the use of the English Language. Initially my guests were “native speakers” from the west, then later introducing our own Chinese students who had demonstrated their ability to speak fluently in front of an audience. In conjunction with The Talk Show, I also introduced the Speak English Bracelet. Why? Most students were hesitant or lack the courage to speak English to other students or strangers in the campus. But if they saw someone wearing a Speak English Bracelet, they were encouraged to break the ice, so to speak.

mahjiang

PHOTO 2 – PLAYING MAHJONG

In Mandarin, mahjong, developed in China during the Qing dynasty, is a tile-based game which my American hosts first taught me when I was an international student from Singapore. Once mahjong was a favorite pastime in USA! At the beginning of a semester, when students had less studies or home work to occupy their time, I decided to introduce mahjong to them. This despite their initial reluctance because their parents had taught them mahjong was bad and illegal in China, once banned by Chairman Mao Zedong. This was a perfect “teaching moment” for me, to explain rationally to them that mahjong is being encouraged in some Senior Centers in USA as an important tool to help American “senior citizens” to think logically and activate their brains in the face of dementia. My strategy was to invite 4 students each time, allowing them to meet students from other departments to have a simple dinner with me at a local restaurant. We would then play the mahjong at my residence. I was introducing the mahjong to them as an American and in minutes they had no problem following a few simple rules: if you can play cards, you can play mahjong. Mahjong is Chinese! Back in USA, I continue to introduce mahjong to my American friends. Why? Most Chinese would not play with me unless cash is involved. For me mahjong has nothing to do with money, but essentially introducing a famous Chinese game to Americans; that one way for them to win the hearts of Chinese in China is their ability to speak their language, the language of mahjong! Most of my American friends own their own mahjong set and we would play the game in different houses at their leisure and convenience.

p3

PHOTO 3 – THIS IS CHINA

On December 11, 2018, I sent a copy of THIS IS CHINA (published in 2018 by a company owned by Amazon.com) as a Christmas present to Donald Trump, President of USA. In the letter I wrote:
“My grandparents with their family migrated with a large group of the Poor of the Poorest from mainland China to Malaya (now Malaysia) in 1903. At the time the Malayan government was looking for some people to come and grow rice for a growing population. So they looked for the poor of the poorest because in their mind, the poor would be devoted to the task of growing rice in a new country. I am proud of grandpa because the first thing he did was to build a school to educate the children who were too poor to attend any school in China. Grandpa’s school, a replacement, is still standing proud in a little village in Malaysia today.
I studied hard and got scholarships to study in USA. I was invited to be a visiting professor in China 2008-2014. I spent three years writing my 6th book THIS IS CHINA, to share with Americans my knowledge of and experiences in China. With the book I will be going out to talk about today’s China, the China I had the privilege of knowing…Most Chinese would avoid talking about their government with anyone in public. They are told to focus on doing well in their daily pursuits and the government is here to help you achieve your dreams. THIS IS CHINA.”
In promoting it, I said: “Knowing and understanding China is critical to our future as we all work together to achieve prosperity and world peace for all nations in this world.” I am proud to be a Chinese.

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