If you are looking for a place to go where you get to experience Chinese culture, look no further than your local Chinese city park. It is here amongst nature that you will the Chinese cultural traits of: collectiveness and elements of Qi.

img_4243Collectiveness: the park is where groups of people congregate- to dance, to sing, to play sport- usually badminton, table tennis, basketball or a form of volleyball with your feet. This mentality of being part of a larger collective unit underpins the Chinese practice of guanxi, face and the family-principled society.

Qi: The park is a place to practice Qi Gong and Tai Qi Chuan. These artistic flowing movements are the basis of Kung Fu. Chinese people believe water defeats a rock, if you are able to allow an opponent to slip off you, they fill be defeated. Tai Qi is practiced in parks because of the intertwining with nature. The Taoist methodology believes there is a union with the body and nature and states that nature will take its natural course.

I believe these two characteristics are fundamental belief systems for Chinese people and the park is a good place to see them

As for my favourite park: Ritan. It is where a group of Tai Qi Chuna practicers took me in and taught me the virtues of ‘eating the noodles’ to fend off opponents!

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