Nothing Better Than Submersing Yourself In Another Culture

By Daniella Djiogan

It’s been a few months since I came back from my one year teaching experience in China, and I still have mix feelings about the whole thing. Sometimes I miss Sichuanese food like crazy…especially the street food, sometimes I miss my roommate [we’ve been through thick and thin in a foreign land],

100_1419 100_1429

sometimes, I miss my cute students who were so
super adorable,

and sometimes, I just miss my freedom to go wherever I want, eat whatever I want,and just be silly whenever I want.

I miss those things

But all things have a different side to it. A side which might not be as pleasant as the other.100_1897100_1552

And when I think about that side, I turn to feel less nostalgic.

I disliked being the center of attention non-stop, even though it was an awesome

I understood their curiosity and ignorance, but sometimes my feelings couldn’t help but overshadow my mind which was flooded with thoughts of racism, discrimination,
and several other unpleasant words that basically did 
describe my emotions at specific occasions which triggered these feelings.

I do not miss those feelings at all.20150426_124855100_1568

However, if I should compare the pros and cons of my experience and pick whether it was worth it or not….I would definitely say WORTH IT!

China taught me lots of things about myself that I didn’t know I had in me.  It literally made me see and somewhat love myself, even though I still have those occasional insecurity issues.

Being in a homogeneous country would do that to you. It would test your ability to love yourself to the brim, and if you fail at that test, you will be miserable living there.100_1437

So the only option is to acknowledge that you too deserve love, not only from others, but from yourself.

Yap, China taught me lots. Other-than loving myself, it taught me how much I loved freedom….lol

I mean…I learnt how to be independent in China;
since that was the first time I actually lived on my own, without family. It was great!

Spending money without being questioned about what you are spending it on…priceless!100_1499

Eating junk food without having your mom mention how it’s going to make you gain weight….awesome!

Traveling without the need for permission…unimaginably fun!

I miss those days

But more than anything else, it made me realize just how much I loved experiencing different cultures. Not only for the freedom…of-course, but for the fun and experience itself….[having a global encounter with people who might or might not share the same mindset, behaviors, and cultures as you…priceless]

It’s a great feeling to take yourself out of the regular routine and cultures that surrounds your life and experience another routine and culture with an open mind.

The key is an open mind.

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