Mandarin Language Coordinator
March 6, 2018
幸福 (Xìng Fú) Happiness/Well-Being (Culture & Language: Chinese) - The Story
photogrid_1520251623405.jpg

Good Day, Language Enthusiast!

On Sunday, 25 February 2018, Polyglot Indonesia Jakarta Chapter conducted a special meet-up embracing the Chinese language and culture in celebration of Chinese New Year. This very special meet-up titled 幸福 (Read: Xìng Fú) Happiness/Well-Being (Culture & Language: Chinese). Why happiness? First of all, everyone deserve to be happy. Second of all, in celebrating Chinese New Year we celebrate happiness.

China's identity, as most people know, is mostly tied to the Han people. In this special meet-up we explained to the participants that China has 56 other ethnics living side-by-side with unique cultural features, be it dresses, languages, cuisines, faiths, regions, etc. The Han people make up 93% of the Chinese demographic due to several reasons: The first reason is related to the history of the country in which the bigger kingdoms (quo) subjugate the smaller ethnic tribes/groups through a series of wars. The second reason is related to how ethnicity is being defined in China; to put it simply, since the Chinese are a patrilineal society, when a Han man marries a non-Han woman, the spouse will be considered as a Han, which also make their children a Han, and so on, and so on.

Besides discussing Chinese's various ethnicities, we also talked about the status of Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. This is an important topic, since most Indonesians are confused or simply don't know whether Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau are considered as a separate country from China or not. Our presenter also explained the fact related to the so-called One China Policy, which is the basis to determine the status of the said territory. For Tibet, in the eyes of the People's Republic of China, it is more of a political- rather than a territorial problem, since they consider that Tibet as part of the Chinese Tang Dynasty's expanded territory that briefly declared its independence in 1913 when Sun Yat Sen and his Kuomintang ruled the country.

This meet-up was attended by approximately 50 participants, which was divided into two English Tables, Russian Table, German Table, Dutch Table, French Table, Spanish Table, Italian Table, Japanese Table, Korean Table, and Mandarin Chinese Table. After the presentation, participants were instructed to discuss about the most interesting part of the presentation and the reason behind it, which will later be shared to other groups. Most of the tables had their eyes set on culinary theme. The Italian table, for example, presented the fact that Marco Polo was taught how to make noodles when he stayed for some time in China and hence “invented” spaghetti when he got back to his hometown.

In the last session, we conducted a brief course on Mandarin. Our presenters shared some tips and tricks on how to understand Chinese Mandarin. For example, in Mandarin, there are fewer vocabularies compared to Bahasa Indonesia. In terms of grammar, Mandarin has no tenses; this itself presents a challenge to those who are used to learn language by studying its tenses such as English and Arabic, and are accustomed with the use Subject-Adverb-Verb-Object as a sentence structure.

For the closing session, the participants were shown some short videos about interesting places in China for tourism, culture and its people. Last but not least, we took the obligatory commemorative picture together. Special thanks to Branché Bistro for the lovely place! We hope to see you again on another Polyglot Indonesia Jakarta Chapter special meetup! (For the photo documentation, please check our Facebook fanpage album).

About the author

Fathan graduated from Social Work Study from Universitas Padjadjaran and continued his study by taking Mandarin Language in Peking University and Master's Degree of International Business in UIBE, China. He spent five years from 2011-2016 in China including working in a Chinese company Tianjin Hoidi Group Co., Ltd. in Tianjin and in an American artificial insemination company World Wide Sires Co., Ltd. in Beijing. Currently he works at Nurul Fikri Group as Director of a start-up unit within STT Nurul Fikri focusing in study abroad and language learning programs.

Content you may like

Dunia telah berkembang sedemikian...

Ketupat atau kupat adalah hidangan...

Menurut pengalaman studi saya, ada...

When the moon hits your eye like a big...
Good Day, Language Enthusiasts!...
Keberagaman Suku Indonesia  (via: pelajaran.co.id)
Language is a vital element of human...
lobalisasi menjadi sebuah fenomena yang...
Polyglot Indonesia is present at the...

Good Day, Language Enthusiasts!...

Good Day, Language Enthusiasts!...

Good Day, Language Enthusiasts!...

Keberagaman Suku Indonesia  (via: pelajaran.co.id)
Language is a vital element of human...
lobalisasi menjadi sebuah fenomena yang...
Polyglot Indonesia is present at the...