Two Nations, One Dream
By Yun Qin
When ABBA started singing, “I have a dream, a song to sing, to help me cope with anything,” I was not yet born in a small city in the Yangtze River Delta of China. By the time I was first time humming, “I have a dream, a fantasy, to help me through reality,” I had left my hometown for Shanghai with all my dreams as my luggage. I longed to see the outside world and to experience what novelty could bring to a young heart.
Several years later, I packed up again and moved to the other side of the world. I was ready for and even anticipating strong culture shock. Not until I met various people from around the world did I give in to the culture shock. As I discovered in my new living environment, differences can seem much more interesting when you realize that people actually have a lot in common. I learned that finding similarities between cultures could be a fun endeavor.
I had this same understanding in mind when facing a challenge in the present day: How best can teachers present China and Chinese culture to their students? Should the differences be characterized as something exotic, or simply enjoyable? With this question, I designed the 2014 China Studies Seminar (July 13–19, Shanghai) with the theme of “Two Nations, One Dream." Read on!
And look for perspectives on “Two Nations, One Dream” from teachers in the next issue of Chinese Language Matters