Misunderstanding China: How the West perceives the ‘Orient’

When we think of China, what do we think of? Great food, a rich history, unique traditions? Sure, we might think of these things but they come in tandem with an abundance of stereotypes that reach only the surface of China's culture.

The West seems to be uncomfortable with the idea of culture when we think of China. The country has a long history of beautiful theatre, dance and music but its individuality has been lost amongst the clouds of smoke that billow from the country's mass-producing factories. Whilst China's reputation has seemed to resort to its ability to churn out popular consumer goods for the rest of the world, this is only a fraction of what it does. China's economy is of course a key part of their identity now but it is certainly not everything they have to offer.

The people of China have a proud history that reveals their true character. Gunpowder, paper, printing and the compass are sometimes called the Four Great Inventions of Ancient China; these inventions required precision, attention to detail and most of all, an element of ambition. These qualities are embedded in the culture today, think of Chinese theatre, tai chi, architecture etc. Although, there is one thing that is really at the heart of all this, food.

Chinese philosopher and teacher Confucius once said:

"Eating is the utmost important part of life".

Food has been an immensely important part of China's culture for thousands of years but along the way has lost some of its authenticity; PAM Education wants to bring this back. The food is rich and diverse with recipes being used today that stretch back to more than a thousand years ago.

Forget what you've learnt about Chinese food in your local take-out or from your supermarket ready meal as no one place is possibly large enough to cover the array of flavours available in the whole of China. Food tastes vary greatly from region to region; it would be a difficult task to capture everything. The country is a large expanse with many people, cultures and traditions all intertwined.

Cooking is an important action within a Chinese family and we aim to bring this sense of belonging and meaning to our teaching. Food fills a person with happiness, harmony, mental and physical well-being.

Authentic Chinese food is loaded with meaning that cannot be rivalled by many other cultures.

PAM Education offers UK accredited endorsed and regulated programmes from L2-L8.

Posted in Blog.

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