For the month of December HHS Center welcomes the following new Cultural Ambassadors from around the world:
Rachel from the United States (6 month program)
Mareika from Germany (6 month program)
Kornelia from Poland (12 month program)
This year the HHS team celebrated Christmas here in the office with music, movies, games, gift exchange and, of course…Chinese food.
After some spirited and competitive rounds of pop quiz, Pictionary and musical chairs our staff and participants managed to control their appetites for a bit longer while our very own Kung Fu Santa started up the gift exchange. Some notable items included Santa slipper socks, hot body packs, pancake mix, “Kuaizi” and lots and lots of chocolate.
Our very Charlie-Brown-esque Christmas tree (pictured) benefited from some traditional German ornaments thanks to Mareike.
The typical Chinese fare was accompanied by some festive goodies like tangerines, candy canes and, of course, lots of chocolate. Thanks to Ricki for her delicious homemade brownies that did not survive for very long.
With food in our bellies and red Santa caps,
We all headed home for a long winter’s nap.
Thanks so much to all of our participants for bringing their culture and Christmas cheer to the party. We wish our friends in China and abroad a safe and prosperous new year.
Tianjin: A Chinese City With A Western Core
Tianjin is one of the five national central cities of the People’s Republic of China. Tianjin is a bustling port and a center of industry and trade.
During the Sui Dynasty (589-618 AD), the Grand Canal of China was constructed which connected Tianjin to the Yangze and Yellow Rivers making the city a major hub for trade and later a gem in the eyes of foreign powers. In 1868, the British and the French captured the Taku forts, located near Tianjin. This subsequently led to the end of the Second Opium War (1856-1860 AD) and the signing of the Treaties of Tianjin, which opened the port to international trade. The Emperor of China ratified the treaty in 1860, and soon both the French and the British began establishing concessions in the city. Towards the end of the 19th century the United States, Germany, Italy, Russia, Japan, and Belgium made their way to the city to set up their own concessions.
There still exist many example of the original European architecture in the old foreign concession areas of the city but much of it was destroyed during the Boxer Rebellion at the turn of the 1900’s and during Japanese occupation during WWII.
Today, Tianjin continues to be a center of global production and trade. It is a rare example of a modernizing that still holds tight to its Chinese traditions and foreign influence.