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Zhu Qin Zhe
I am turning twenty-seven tomorrow, on January 19th. Time goes unexpectedly fast, it has been almost seven years since I moved to Sweden, and since I started to do the blog on this website. But that is not what makes this year’s birthday special, but the date. In China, we celebrate two birthdays – one based upon the new calendar (as what everybody knows throughout the entire world), the other based upon the old calender (the lunar calender made with the circulation of the moon). And this year, the lunar calender of my birthday arrives one day after the new calender, which does not happen so often, probably once in several decades. Therefore, I would have two birthdays to celebrate in two days a row, meaning two birthday cakes and two birthday dinners following one after the other.
How Chinese people celebrate birthdays has been described by me many times on this blog. Yet this year is the first time in seven years when I have celebrated my birthday at home with parents. It had either been me living in Sweden or in Beijing, away from home.
Parents would not wake me up by bringing me the breakfast to bed. I ordered a birthday cake for myself, because my little cousin was interested in eating one. I ordered another birthday cake for myself on the lunar calender birthday, because my cousin and his little girl wanted to take this opportunity to eat one. But cakes are not the key point. Noodles and eggs are what we are supposed to eat on this special time.
So when I wake up in the morning, I would expect my mother to have boiled two eggs with noodles for me as the breakfast. Then during the dinner, my grandparents would urge me to eat up on chicken leg. They would first have one chicken boiled for my birthday’s sake, because in their eyes, chicken are the best dishes to represent the celebration of birthday.
I am not used to a huge deal made out of birthday. What I do look forward to is to bring everybody together for a nice gathering. If my birthday could be used as an occasion, I am willing to offer chance all the time.
Happy Birthday to myself, and I hope that I could have a great time tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow.
Snow, snow in April! I can’t help but feel excited and pass on this news to my friends in China. They are all amazed.
“Is it really so cold up there in Stockholm?”Most of them asked curiously.
“It is only two degree, but truly, it is not so chilly.” I replied, confidently.
They would believe me, because for them, coldness is defined by the number of temperature, not by the feeling or the climate characteristics.
In Fujian, you feel chillness piercing into your bones even if it is 10 degree, whilst in Sweden, you could be easily protected by a simple overcoat.
It is not only the definition of coldness, but also the definition of many other things that are different in the eyes of Swedish people and Chinese people. I find that different continents share different cultures, yes, continents, not just countries. There could be slight differences between countries in the same continent, yet overall speaking, countries on the same continent almost share similar perspectives, traditions, and even ancient cultures.
For example, people in Vietnam also celebrate some traditional festivals celebrated in China, and many Chinese girls idolize the pretty guys in South Korean, vice verse.
We all find differences and similarities within cultures and thoughts, no matter where we are and which country we are from. That’s why communication is important, and that’s why we should all open ourselves to other cultures and exchange ideas for more improvised perspectives towards life.
It surprised me as I stepped out of the plane and came the border of Stockholm. The airport has been modified completely! It had just been four months since I saw this place, and now it has got a new look, modern and very fresh, but confusing as well.
It is not a common thing to see changes in Stockholm. I am not saying that the city is not progressing, what I mean is that it is not equally fickle like that in China. A Chinese friend of mine used to study at Stockholm University. After she graduated she moved back to China and, ten years later, when she visited the city once again, she still could see the buildings, restaurants she had been to standing right at the exactly same spot.
On the other hand, however, when I returned to Beijing 2 years after I left, I was already unable to find the restaurant I liked before. It had moved and been replaced. And what startled me even more, was that new lines of subways had suddenly come to light, and it happened so fast that I hardly could feel the process of changing, but reach the consequence directly.
Is it good to change at such a high speed? I think it is a two-sided thing again,and whether or not it is necessary depends upon the specific situation. For example, maybe for cities like Beijing, heading towards modernism quickly is an effective way of urbanization, but for Stockholm, staying still would help to maintain the traditional beauty of the country. The goals are different, therefore, there is no need to define if the performances are right or wrong. After all, what we do is for the sake of the place we are living in, and for a better, more convenient life.
Rain comes down constantly, and I find it pretty annoying when the wetness is around everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. That’s the typical characteristics of the climate in South China -damp and warm in the spring, damp and hot in summer, damp and cold in autumn and winter.
Clothes can hardly be dried, therefore, we are forced not to wash any clothes, and the old clothes stink of dampness. Papers and books are all wrinkled up because of the wetness, and water drops fall down over the wall, as if it is sweating.
We do not dare to wash any more clothes, for it is not common for a Chinese household to own a tumble drier.
It is getting warmer and warmer, as it is getting wetter and wetter. That’ s the troubling thing people from Longyan complain about all the time, whenever the spring is around.
That’s why they never understand how in Sweden, people do not put their bed sheets outdoors for sun bathing – they do not have to, for the tumble drier does all the work.
Oh I can’t be sitting here and writing now, I have got to help my mother setting up the simple tumble-drier to dry out the clothes. She is pretty annoyed right now.
Having stayed in China for over six months, I am finally going back to Stockholm in a week’s time. I heard that it is still snowing up there, whilst spring has already arrived down in South China. It keeps raining, all the time, and I can hardly get my shoes dried and clothes exposed to the sun.
People ask me if I miss Sweden after being away from the tranquil land for so long. I can’t describe the feeling, for I have homes in both countries, and there is no such a place called “being away from home” as they all say. The only difference is that I have different social networks, and we talk about different matters.
In China I go out often, whilst in Sweden I mostly stay indoors. For me, Sweden is quiet and suit for writing – my job, and China is more like a place where I am able to grab the projects for further cooperation. I am happy in both places, but I would miss either one, whenever I am faraway from her for some time.
Honestly speaking, however, I do feel a bit worried about not being able to concentrate as I am in China, yet I also feel worried about not being able to see anyone around up there in Sweden. Therefore, I will have to do the exchange every now and then, so as not to forget about my schedule, my goal and my own dreams.
Anyway, I do wish that I could return to China sometime soon. I look forward to having all of the projects I am trying to connect right now worked.
Being a public figure requires a great deal of strength in heart. That’s something I have learnt by being a friend with an actor.
I am not quite sure about how western entertainment industry truly works, yet being with Chinese entertainment industry makes me realize that an actor or an actress, however popular you are, will attract anti-fans anyway.
The anti-fans would swear the dirtiest words at you, or even conduct some crazy deeds. If you do not have a strong heart tolerance, you would be easily affected and probably give up the motivation of chasing the dream.
“If you want to wear the crown, you will have to bear the power it has given to you.” Basically speaking, the more exposed you are to the public, the stronger you will have to learn to be, to taste the wonderfulness, and to go through the filthiness.
You are not alone, whether you are liked or disliked.
I wish my friend good luck ahead. So far, he can tolerate all those dirty words coming from the anti-fans, and all the pressure and stress.
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