People Tell the Story: China

Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 in China, People Tell the Story | 1 comment

The people of China seem to be an interesting breed and the cities and countryside paint vastly different pictures. While the pace and personality of people in the big cities resembled some major US cities, there are still some major cultural differences. It was not uncommon to see children almost trampled during a rush while waiting in various lines. Spitting and burping in public are not seen as dirty habits. And personal space can be a pipe dream. Countrysiders, however, brought us back to earth with their friendliness and humility.

Name: Wendy (Meng wen hi)

Age: 26

Occupation: Assistant Manager at Yanghsuo Outside Inn

Hometown: He chi (4 1/2 hrs northwest of Yangshuo)

People Tell the Story: China Wendy 

Wendy came to Yanghsuo Outside Inn eight years ago to replace a friend that decided to leave after getting married. She left her small village with really no English speaking skills, but has worked her way up to assistant manager. Wendy’s story ties in well with how China seems to be evolving. Her eagerness to see beyond He Chi and leave the traditional farming role behind has led Wendy into the front of a changing China – one where tourism is becoming a major factor. Her friendliness and energetic personality will bode well for her future in China’s travel industry.

What three words best describe China?

  1. Big
  2. Tourism
  3. Change (if you compare it to 5-10 years ago, many things have changed. We are getting better with schools, hospitals, and health insurance. A few years ago, the government began offering insurance to help farmers or others without real jobs. Many people have moved into the cities for better job opportunities, leaving few behind in the villages to work the land. The government now helps pay for them to do their farming)


What three words best describe the people of China?

  1. Satisfied
  2. Happy
  3. Lucky (older people didn’t have the same opportunities and used to live much harder lives in the villages)


What is the top priority of the Chinese people?

Happiness, but accompanied by family and work. A good job is important so you can make money to support your family. We want to enjoy work and be happy. It also depends whether you’re single versus married or living in the countryside versus in the city. If you’re single, you don’t have to worry much about spending time with your family so you can work much harder and longer hours. And if you live in the city, you have to work hard. Life is just much more expensive and busier in the city. The countryside is more about family and supporting your neighbors.


How do people typically make a living?

It’s been changing even since I finished school eight years ago. In my hometown it was only hard farm work. Everyone used to work in a rice field, but now there is better business with bamboo rafting or other types of tourism. Yanghsuo, for example, is just a small town (1 million people), but within the last five years a lot of bars and shops have opened on West Street (the most popular walking street that leads from the river dock into town). It’s difficult to find space and it’s way more international now. Therefore, the space grows out and new buildings start to take over the rice fields.


What is your favorite place to visit?

Beijing and Shanghai – it’s nice to see the new big cities. But for something different, Yunnan province (southwest near Myanmar) is also good. There are beautiful lakes and mountains. One of my favorite things is fishing in the local lake.

One Comment

  1. Happy and satisfied-not what most Americans would have though. Nice to know. you wonder if ignorance is bliss or if we are chasing success too hard at the cost of happiness. Thanks. Dad Conrad.

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