[See the English version below]
但同时也大发一些世界主义的愿心。在申请研究生的时候，我引用了Michael Jackson的歌曲Heal the World作为开头，写到这里我又打开音乐软件，悠扬轻快的旋律飘了出来：
“Heal the world. Make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race.”（治愈这个世界，让它变成一个更好的地方，为你、为我，也为了全人类。）
"Though it's plain to see, this world is heavenly, be God's glow."（很明显，这世界原本就是上帝的荣光。）
In my class in the first week, a group of students from all over the world gathered around and started to introduce themselves. Of course, we had to answer one more question than in our home country: "Where are you from?"
I heard myself say in a bit unskilled English, "I come from China, and it looks like I'm the only Chinese in the class, maybe even the only East Asian, which makes me feel a little uneasy."
"I think I'm experiencing a kind of "culture shock" now, new language, new teachers and classmates, new city. But it's nice to meet everyone here and I hope to learn from each other."
Sometimes it's a good thing to be honest about your nervousness. I received a lot of special care and attention throughout the following semester.
The first class ended without any risk, and of course I didn't dare to expect to understand too much. In fact, until the end of the semester, I still have lectures that I can't fully understand, and seminars-discussions with random logic, coupled with a hodgepodge of accents from all over the world, are complete disaster movie scenes to me .
After class, I received an email from the teacher saying: "For those who aren't in a rush, I'm happy to join you in the pub for a drink. " I followed along dumbfounded, seeing this bar culture for the first time. On the corner opposite the library is a resplendent old bar, which gives me the feeling that it is equivalent to the snack vendors near the secondary schools in China.
In this kind of social occasion, the implicit virtues of our orientals seem a bit out of place. I have difficulties in recognizing the faces of foreigners and remembering their name, and dare not strike up a conversation. Fortunately, some classmates are willing to say hello first. I started chatting with the American "Jack" and a German classmate with a top knot hair style and chatting about China's social outlook. I was shocked when I found out that Beijing is almost ten times the size of London.
In the following days, as I got to know more and more foreign friends, I found that most of them asked similar questions: freedom, democracy, human rights, Internet freedom, epidemic prevention and control, Xinjiang issues... At the beginning, I was very patient with these questions and tried to give a impartial answer admitting that China has many imperfections, but it is a developing country where tradition and modernity coexist. We should Be more understanding and patient about its development.
But I also got confused, why everyone just pays more attention to negative news about China. So when explaining these issues again, I began to add something I am really interested in, the history of modern China, the vlog of Li Ziqi and the documentary "A Bite of China", my own growing experience and everything I saw and heard... Once I had dinner with three Chinese classmates and two British classmates. When we talked about the Xinjiang issue, my Chinese classmate explained it and said, "I think the best way to know a country is to observe it in person, not just listen to the media's words", I was lazy to this question at the beginning but started to applaud after listening to these words, and then I interrupted saying, "Every time I talk about these negative news, I feel as if it conveys an impression that I don't like my country either, but in fact, I am really proud of my country." I was moved as well when I said it.
I am also trying to understand and feel this new city. After class, I wandered around the city, visited the London Museum which displays the city history from Rome empire to the Middle Ages and finally turns into a world-famous city, saw art exhibitions I didn’t really understand, and went to the market with my friends to taste a delicious creamy mushroom rice.
Walking to school for half an hour every day really exercised me. And the transportation fee here is frustratingly expensive, everywhere as long as it is within half an hour, I will walk there. Once I went to school bringing a grocery shopping trolley, crossed the Waterloo bridge from strand campus to Elephant & Castle to collect second-hand daily necessities after class, went to Henley Road to find friends, and finally took a speeding red double-decker bus home.
There was also a class on the history of war, which talked about the Battle of Trafalgar, so after class, I walked to Trafalgar Square not far away to look at the statue of Nelson, the British national hero, and the beautiful night view of the square. The street scene under the night is resplendent and magnificent, many people are sitting around the fountain on the square, with the evening wind blowing, and the tall Big Ben can be seen right in front of it. Such a comfortable atmosphere that makes me feel like really want to be part of it.
In terms of making friends, I was limited to the Chinese circle at the beginning. In weekend, I would take two transferring buses to find my former landlord friend. Once I was so careless that I forgot to charge my phone when I went out, and when I got to the door of her house, I couldn't ring the doorbell. So I ran to the back of the house, faced her window, and called her name with my hand in the shape of a trumpet. There was no response, and I started calling her nickname as a joke, but fortunately, she finally heard it. Later, she told me that when she just turned on the speaker and was about to play a song, she heard someone calling her name which was a great shock to her, I couldn't stop laughing.
Later, when I settled down and had new roommates, we started to depend on each other; I also gradually made several classmates in the course, but it is still difficult for me to remember the names of foreign friends. Once I was sitting next to a classmate who was very familiar. After class, I happily said hello, "Hi! Daniel", and it turned out that his name was Michelle.
Sometimes I feel that everyone I meet is cute and friendly. I apologized to the teacher for being late to hand in homework, and the teacher comforted me in turn. The level of tolerance for mistakes here is higher than that of East Asian culture, and everyone shows tolerance and understanding for many things in a humane manner. As soon as the pressure eased, I began to enjoy daily life much more.
But is it really because Asian people have a more strict culture? I thought of the so-called slogan of "improving one point so you can killing thousands of people" in Chinese college entrance examination, the much-criticized "involvement and lying flat", and similar complaints about pressure, lack of opportunities, and a competitive society in Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan. I don't think it fair to impute all these blame to our culture. First of all, the connotation and influence of traditional culture are dynamically evolving. If we must say that we have been influenced by culture, it is modern culture that accounts for a larger proportion. What is our modern era like? -All about cruel wars and arduous reconstructions. How can an atmosphere of tolerance be created under such circumstances? Not to mention the unfair international order nowaday: the inequality of productivity, the international status of currency, and also propaganda...how much hardship and suffering the people in this vast land have endured!
It makes me depressed when think about these heavy topics. So when I talked about some negative topics with foreign students, I added a new theme: the hidden inequality in today's world. I went to Saudi Arabia during this semester, and my essays mentioned the century-old turmoil and nationalism in the Middle East, and I felt that these concepts were even more vivid to me.
Of course this kind of structural stuff cannot be attributed to individuals, I still love every person I meet, no matter what kind of face they have.
What makes me sad is sometimes hearing a very small number of students from Hong Kong and Taiwan criticizing Chinese culture. I can understand criticism of government policies and propaganda methods, as well as criticism of nationalist sentiment, but is it a bit extreme and irrational to rise to the depreciation of culture?
I deeply feel our own inadequacies: outdated propaganda, sometimes radical nationalism sentiment, insufficient globalization level. But when I think about the facts of China’s unbalanced development, I can’t criticize anymore: this country has only went out from the shadow of colonialism for a hundred years, and there are still many people worrying about their livelihoods. Please give us some patience, encouragement and support just like what I feel right now.
On Thanksgiving, an American classmate in my class group invited me and several classmates to have a Thanksgiving dinner at his friend's house. Seven or eight people sat around a table, we have British, Americans, Germans, Swedes, and of course I, a Chinese, ate turkey with good wine. Discussing the different food cultures of the two countries with a German friend, he asked me, "Does China have similar table manners?" I asked him to defined what he called table manners: don't eat until everyone comes, don't take too much at once, etc. I feel very familiar. I replied that we have exactly the same custom. Human feelings are common all over the world, so these cultural customs will not have much essential difference.
Walking home after visiting Trafalgar Square, I saw a monument to British nurse Edith Cavell, who was convicted of treason by the German military court for helping 200 Allied soldiers escape during World War I. At the end of the war, people erected this monument to her, engraved with her words: "Patriotism is not enough. I must have no hatred or bitterness towards anyone."
I treasure these small details so much. There is always a small board on the benches in many parks in London, with the words left by the donors, some of their memories and feelings for the community. "Never tried of London", "In memory of a master ice cream connoisseur" and so on, it is easy to get moved when walking through it.
I keep noticing the differences and comparing them to my country. Since this semester, I have been so concerned about every change and development in my homeland: the epidemic prevention and control which caused some disasters that should not have happened, and I feel sad for it; people in some places went to the streets to fight for their rights, and I feel shocked and worried, that day I chatted with my domestic friends all night; I also paid attention to conferences, the exchange rates, changes in epidemic prevention policies and opening policies, and the death of the previous chairman just several days ago...
In the course, I also paid attention to many countries and regions that I knew little about before, in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. I saw how people in different regions worked hard to make their own country and our world better. I was deeply moved. Of course, I also saw wars, disasters and hatred, which are so deep and complicated that it is difficult for people to change. In the class about the civil war in Somalia, our classmate Khalid happened to be a British native of Somalia. So the other classmates and teacher surrounded him and asked him: "What is the situation in Somalia now?", "Is there big difference between Somalia and Somaliland?”, “Is it safe for us to travel there?”
These different cultures and the same understanding and empathy make me constantly reflect. I went to Saudi Arabia at the end of the semester, and I was most impressed by the local environment, language, culture and history. When I chat with foreign friends, everyone is more interested in the differences between our different countries. I think I still need to keep some of my own cultural characteristics, not to mention that our country has such a splendid and beautiful civilization. I would like to quote a famous saying here by Deng Xiaoping, our former chairmen,which is: "I am the son of the Chinese people, and I love my motherland and people deeply."
But at the same time, I think cosmopolitanism aspirations are important as well. When applying for my master study, I quoted Michael Jackson's song Heal the World as the beginning of my personal statement. When writing this, I opened the music software again, and a melodious and brisk melody floated out:
"Heal the world. Make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race."
"Though it's plain to see, this world is heavenly, be God's glow."
National sentiment and cosmopolitanism are not completely opposite. Every person, every nation, and every culture is the glory of the creator. We live together in such a beautiful world.