Eritrean scholar’s impression on China


Ghede Asrat

China has perfectly aseptic environment. It is one of the four greatest ancient civilization of the world. This helps the country to be the the leader of all social, cultural and economic developmental hubs across the Asia-Pacific. I have tried to gather information about this country since I was an elementary student, however, it did not extend beyond the little information that entails China is a country with a billion people.

I landed in Wuhan, Hubie province, on September 3, 2019, to pursue international studies. My countrymates and the office of Central China Normal University welcomed me warmly. I started to pave a new path for the future! I was keenly interested how China has reached these grand economic triumphs.

With a cursory glance, I understood that hard work pays off. It is because of this that this country has become one of the greatest powers. Moreover, it is becoming a nation where you can find answers for all your questions. I have abbreviated the word “China” as follows;
Country of ancient civilization
Hub of analects
Industrious work habits
Nation of pride
Amicable people

My Chinese teacher, Xianjun Li Laoshi, taught me that the Great Wall of China is one of the most visited places of the ancient China. The lesson taught me that it is the longest wall which comprises of many sections. Moreover, I learned that the Great Wall is unparallel in the world in the scale and span of construction, meandering from the east to the west of China like a giant dragon.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I was forced to cancel many programs. Of course, life is all about exposure. More exposure, more knowledge. That is why I’m keenly interested in visiting new places. I’m also wondering about the historical importance of the silk trade in the ancient Chinese history.

During my sojourn in China, I have discovered that the country is a hub of analects, especially the classic work of Confucianism, and was compiled by Confucius’ disciples and their own disciples in turn. The Analects is mostly of quotes and dialogues which record the actions and words of Confucius and his disciples. It is a detailed representation of Confucius’s political views, philosophical thoughts, moral views, and educational principles. I have greatly wondered about the Analects, because I found the quotations that work in today’s world.

The language is brief and straightforward. Any person can read them in a simple way, yet they carry meaningful messages. It has profound impact on the mindset and values of Chinese people. Along the way, I found many of them work in my culture as well. I can’t forget one of the eight Confucius best quotes, “Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself”. This, no doubt, has influenced me a lot.

My father always speaks with the same passion, and is cautious with words. He believes talking too much is taxing and time consuming. Meanwhile, the way he quotes suit all realities of life. I became familiar with the above quote when I was at elementary school, and once I discovered the works of Confucius at college level, it increased my appetite. The more I put something into my heart, the more I find the answer there. It is good to be in tune with yourself!

There are many Chinese companies in my country carrying out many activities in different sectors. I have seen the Chinese workers closely at my institute, Eritrea Institute of Technology, Mainefhi, while building the College of Science. It is good to shed some more light on this issue. The workers were diligent and on time in their job. That is why everyone can see proper order without any interruption in Chinese work ethic.

From this point of view, I have approached many Chinese students in my school of education, and I have asked many questions regarding the attitude of work they have. Majority of them said “the power to be engaged in work is a blessing, and its love is climbing greater ladders of success”.

The bilateral cooperation between Eritrea and China dates back to the late 1960s when the Eritrean armed struggle was only at its guerilla stage fighting the invasion by the neighboring country. I have deep heartfelt feelings to tell that our esteemed president along with his comrade had short visit to China in 1968.

China is a showcase for the world heritage, and its people are all-weather friends. The culture I have observed in China is universally pristine. I am really overwhelmed by the Chinese culture, and the way they respect the universal rules. This make the people live without harsh hostilities. Trust and respect are the twin weapons I have witnessed. I cannot express the way they treat foreigners. I always feel that I’m at home.

It is true that Chinese Language is quite difficult for foreigners. I can’t express the laughs I had during my Public Chinese class with Yuan Haixia teacher. Actually, I’m not very good in speaking Mandarin, particularly, I writing the Chinese characters. At times when I go out for walks and recreations I can speak few Chinese words. I have a lot of fun when I speak with Chinese people because my Mandarin is broken and has many problems.

Me and my countrymates love surprising Chinese friends with broken Chinese. Every one laughs the way we speak. If it is too hard, we use Baidu translation. I am lucky to be in China, and I feel that I am a member of this country, society and family!

In fact, Chinese people are good people having cordial attitude in making friendships. They greet foreigners as they seem to believe every person they meet is an opportunity to grow in their life. Parrallel to my studies, being in China is charming and entertaining! China have all kinds of food to eat and all kinds of drinks.

Moreover, the country has nice music that energizes deep sense of feelings. Many others, I am sure, could tell a similar tale. Isn’t that amazing! Indeed, all these are indelibly stamped on every scholar’s mind who land to this country. There is more to be said about China. In summary, “China is a country of vivid memories!”

The author is from Eritrea, East Africa. He is currently pursuing international studies in Central China Normal University in Wuhan, China.


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