THE CHINA CONUNDRUM
How much do expats really know about the Middle Kingdom?
hinese ood at h? all Chines do kung u? Chinese like o eatdogs? Can Chines raisepandas s pets ativeChinese wh is ad ,know little bout ungfu, never eats ogs and who has only ver seen andas in oo I’ little red of nswering uch question my oreign riends
Two months ago, when Chinese student Cai Yujing mentioned in her graduation speech at Boston University that it was in the US she “tried fortune cookies for the first time in my life,” the audience burst into generous laughter. Fortune cookies may be popular in overseas Chinese restaurants, but few Chinese mainlanders have ever heard of them.
Indeed, foreigners have developed many stereotypes about China and its people due to inevitable cultural differences and a lack of one-on-one interaction. Having never been to China before, some learn about it only through films, TV shows and media reports, which aren’t necessarily very accurate.
So what about the expats already living here? Do they know any more than their peers back home?
A couple of days ago, my Global Times co-workers and I compiled a small quiz about China, and randomly tested eight foreigners on the streets of Shanghai.
The quiz contains 10 interesting “true or false” statements. How many can you get right?
(Left) A Chinese woman washes her face. (Middle) A woman competes in a kung fu competition. (Far right) Dog meat sold during Yulin Dog Meat Festival Photos: CFP and Chen Xia/GT