I am in Nanyang for 3 days. Some observation of the social environment:
- People have plenty of time
- It is very family oriented
- Food is the center of people’s life
Let me explain them one by one.
People have Plenty of Time
I guess it is the impression only for people like Wendy and me who just came from Shanghai. We are not not tourist, and we live in part of the family. So we saw normal people’s life. Some one only go to work for half days, and many of them don’t have work. When it is sunny, people bring chairs to the public spaces, and talk, or just sit there. When it is cloudy, people get back to room, and sit on small chairs, chatting. One out of several days, people may be busy enough to get a table to play Mahjong.
For people who work, the schedule is quite different. They go to work at 8:00 AM in the morning , and get back to home for lunch at 12:00 in the noon. The afternoon session starts at 2:00 PM and ends at 6:00 PM. In summer, people can have a good sleep during the noon time, since they need to go back to work at 3:00 PM.
This is not something new to me. That is how life should look like when I was in Luoyang, and I believed everyone in the world lived the same life. It changed a lot after I moved to Shanghai 13 years ago, and this trip just refreshed my memory. It didn’t change in the last 20 years.
It is very Family Oriented
Family is the center of many people’s everyday life. In the last few days, we have lunch together with 6 – 12 people, on the same table, or in rotation. Rotation means the dishes are on the small table, and 6 of us eat our lunch, and someone finish lunch first and gave room to other family members. That is the life of big family. Two or three families (with parents and their one two two children, and even grandchild, Yifan) gather together, and have lunch and dinner happily. The life is waved by the family relationship net, and by "family", we mean the "big family" or the family with the same grandfather. In Shanghai, and many other countries, the same family may already been split up to smallest unit (parent and children), and bigger family (aunts, uncles, grandparents…) only gather occasionally. In many places in China, the gather of bigger family is the day to day life.
So is the family property. I use other family members electricity-powered motor is just as I use Wendy’s. :-)
Food is the Center of People’s Life
Food is great here. People spent enough time on food (if not 100% of time). Most things people eat are hand-made by family members themselves. In the morning, aunts prepared the breakfast, and we had them. Then they started to prepare lunch already. At night, people prepare the food for the next day. Food cost is a major cost of people’s salary.
This is China
To be more exact, this is still not China. Life in Shanghai is part of China, and life in Nanyang is also part of China. Many people try to find only one type of life that represent the whole China. I don’t think there will be such a "China lifestyle".