This post is also available in: Italian

“My China, with its seemingly different piece of heaven from the one which I grew up under, yet exactly the same”.

It is part of the human being to always see the negative side and when this is served to us very easily, man is immediately ready to shoot zero. “Coronavirus” is scary. Yes, it’s scary. It is the same fear as when we hear some name of some other incurable disease.

It is simply afraid of dying and someone before me said: “if you are afraid of dying, it means that you have not lived”.

Do not be afraid of China and the Chinese. Do not stop only at the word “Coronavirus”, overcome fear and you will discover a fantastic world.

China, to Love it you have LIVE IT!

The first time I was in China, I was 20 years old and even today, after about 10 years, I remember exactly the emotion I felt when I first set foot on Chinese soil. It is the same as when I tasted ice cream for the time: special, unique, strange at first but then you can no longer do without it.

I admit to being a little biased, my trip to China has represented a lot for me. Under that red sky I fell in love, under that red sky I made great friends, under that red sky I started to live. For all these reasons, I apologize for perhaps being a little too biased and sentimental.

I don’t want to stop to talk about the beauties that this land offers because you can read them on the tourist guides. I want to tell us about the people, the Chinese, because they are the beating heart of the earth. Their smiles are their friendly looks, their souls make this land special.

I want to tell you a little anecdote:

during my stay in China, I met a young Chinese boy with a friend of mine. He smiled at us and was immediately kind to us. He gave us the information necessary to solve the classic problems that can be had at the beginning: phone card, currency exchange, best restaurant etc …

He did it without asking for anything in return but the thing that surprised us was another. When the young Chinese showed us the university campus, we arrived in an open area dedicated to sports where there was a kind of rocking chair. The young man invited us to sit and started rocking us.

My friend and I felt like the protagonists of an episode of “Kiss me Licia”. It was so romantic, but at the same time new, for us who used to be swinging only by our fathers or mothers.

Because the kids we were used to would never have imagined doing such a thing. The following day he came to our dormitory in a suit and tie and with a bouquet of flowers.

Many of you who are reading this article will think “what a loser, this guy! For me, however, that young Chinese was far from unlucky. That boy, with his gentle manners, with his genuine smile, with a forgotten romanticism, embodies the soul of China.

Sometimes I happen to think about that boy, who knows how it went and how his life is going?

Truth, confidentiality, tradition, respect, goodness, kindness, beauty, all this is China and the Chinese. Of course I don’t mean that all Chinese people are good people, but after all, not all Italians are.

I remember that, also during my trip to China, I got the flu and the lady who owned a campus bar prepared me a cup of hot water and took care of me, as if she were my mom. Instead the so-called “fuwuyuan”, the waitress of the floor, used to scold me just like a mom does, when I consumed too much water or did not keep my things in order.

I don’t want to reach out to tell you about my trip, I wanted to share these little memories with you, because as my grandmother always said “the whole world is a town” (it’s a small small world).

We have different colors, different eyes, we love different foods, we have different traditions, but the heart is always one, and it beats exactly the same way for everyone.

Do not avoid talking to a Chinese person just for fear that he has the virus, do not delete China from the list of your places to visit.

I tell you, wait for this time to pass and when the waters have calmed down, pack your bags and take the first flight to Beijing, to Shanghai, to Xi’an, to Hangzhou and enjoy what China has to offer.

Breathtaking panoramas, your eyes won’t believe what they’re seeing. Let yourself be carried away by its warmth, let yourself be captured by its millenary history, by its colors: yellow will dazzle you and red will conquer your heart.

Visit each temple and you will learn what respect and devotion really is. Observe the monk that you will find sitting in a corner of the monastery reading the sacred scriptures, and above all listen to the silence of that place, it will make you more serene and purer.

Relax while strolling through the enchanted gardens. Be captured by the night lights of the giant skyscrapers. Get taxi drivers to say classic Chinese idioms. Have fun tasting various typical dishes and in the evening sing in the various karaoke you will find, because you will find many.

Play “tachi” with the elderly, whom you will surely meet in the parks. Make friends with the locals and once you have overcome the language barrier, you can bring a new friendship with you.

In the photo, the gentleman I met in Hangzhou, he did what in Venice is called “gondolier” Hangzhou is in fact called the little eastern Venice.

Lose yourself in the immense “Great Wall”. Turn on yourself while in Tiananmen Square and breathe. Close your eyes, breathe again and then open them again: you will seem to dream while you realize that you are simply experiencing the oriental charm: China.

China is not just “Coronavirus”, like Italy is not just “pizza, mandolin and mafia”. China is much more, it could be your biggest and most precious souvenir.

Lucilla Minori

ITA Laureata in lingua cinese, da sempre amante del vasto panorama orientale, per le tradizioni, i colori, le culture, le credenze mitologiche, in particolare quelle cinesi. Eternamente innamorata del mondo e della sua vastità. ENG A graduate in Chinese language studies, she has always been a lover of the vast eastern landscape, for its traditions, colors, cultures, mythological beliefs, especially Chinese ones. Eternally in love with the world and its vastness.