When I arrived at the cosmopolitan Singapore, I was just a conservative Chinese student from a small and remote southwest city of China. I even disliked foreigners because of what I learned from History lectures that China has been occupied by foreign countries decades of years ago. Meanwhile, from my parents and friends, I knew far more about China's countryside and the peripheral counties than the outer world.
Involved in the huge melting pot of numerous races of Singapore, I discovered many things I had known little. The colorful new land opened its gate to me and said, welcome to my world! However, the ingrained traditional education I had received from the very start refused to say "goodbye" to my fresh impression. Just like this, traditional ideology and modern conceptions flooded and rivaled in me. Luckily, I was not unusual at all in Singapore - a country itself permeating with so many distinctive cultures. I henceforth embarked on my cultural tour.
What's it like when Singaporean, Indonesian, Malaysian, Brunei, Indian, Chinese and Taiwanese get together, although we have the same skin and hair color and we are all Chinese. However, due to our different mother tongues as well as world and life views coming from our different education backgrounds, barriers do exist between us. The first time I stepped up to greet a fellow student who looks exactly like Chinese in Mandarin, what I got was only a response in lame Chinese mixed with proficient English. Since then, I tried to observe their growing environments and cultural backgrounds before communicating and identifying with them.
As time passed by, I started to get involved other than just being understood. On the special Racial Harmony Day of Singapore, I enrolled in Indian Cultural Festival. On that day, I wore traditional Indian costume, learned to dance Indian dances and cook curry-flavored dishes, watched Bollywood films, drinking in the freshness and joy of experiencing another culture. Nice Indian friends also told me about their own unique scenic spots and customs, previous to which I knew nothing about India except it has the second largest population. By and by, I learned to say hi in Malaysian English, Australian English, Liverpool English and Vietnamese English. And when I greeted my best Hong Kong friend in Cantonese, he would gave me a kind smile; at the same time he would try correcting my not that standard pronunciation and beg me to teach him Mandarin.
My two years in Singapore elapsed quickly. The twenty students of our class came from 9 different countries, which enlivened our classes to the utmost. The sparks produced by the collision of different thoughts and cognitions tinted with different cultural backgrounds and education styles could always spice up the classroom discussion, leading our thinking afar. Little by little, I grew into a mature boy open to new cultures from the former biased and alienated kid. I will also size up every seemingly strange thing or person with a good-willed eye and think it is OK to be different.
And now I still live with the unique habit of Chinese and know Chinese culture and customs much better than that of other countries; I still love my hometown hotpot and will miss eating moon cake on Mid-autumn Day; and I will still pay visits to the aged during spring festivals. However, I was no longer the deliberate, strict and conservative kid. The mixture of different cultures is just like countless little fractionlets in kaleidoscope. With them, this world is colored up with diverse shapes and forms.
even disliked foreigners because...
...I discovered many things, of which I had known little.
The colorful new land opened its gate to me and said, "Wel come to my world!"
...as well as world and life views, coming from
our different educational backgrounds,...
...at the same time he would try correcting my
not that standard pronunciation and beg me to teach him Mandarin.
Little by little, I grew from being a biased and alienated kid, into a mature boy open to new cultures.
...and know Chinese culture and customs much better than those of other countries...
The mixture of different cultures is just like countless little fragments(?) in a kaleidoscope.