China is an incredible country.
With a population over a billion, and cities that no one has heard of that
house tens of millions, its truly a country of surprises. I’ve already learned
so much by being here. Not from classwork, but just from living and immersing
myself within the culture. I’ve come to a realization, though its one that most
would be able to arrive at without going to China for an extended period of
time, its one that I’m happy I came to by living it. It is that I am so
fortunate to have been born and raised in Canada.
By being in China I’ve become
increasingly grateful for my homeland. Growing up and going to school in Canada
you learn about parts of the world that are dominated by poverty. Whether it is
an extreme like Sub Saharan Africa or on a smaller scale like the poverty that
is evident in all metropolitan areas, it is taught, but not necessarily
experienced. It was eye opening witnessing some of these areas in China. You
come to truly realize your fortune, not only to have what you need but all the
excess in your life as well. I remember walking through these small districts
both in Guangzhou and Shanghai that consisted of tiny homes with no more than 2
rooms. Plotted sporadically were the shared bathrooms, as there are not any
facilities inside the dwellings. The streets that border these buildings are no
more than small allies, large enough for a scooter but certainly not a
car. Regardless of the constant staring
and looks of bewilderment that you receive while walking down these allies, you
tend to try and imagine how your life would have turned out if it were your
home. I think it’s safe to say that ‘different’ would be an understatement.
What is fascinating is that these small conglomerates of unlit streets and
small homes are bordered by city centers with malls and skyscrapers, seemingly
unknown to passersby.
has given me a new view on my life, with experiences that have left me with new
perspectives. Truly this is one of the reasons I chose China.