3 Ways to Experience Chinese Culture in America

The roots of Chinese culture extend back thousands of years. China has long been one of the centers of world culture. The same is true today. Over time, many Chinese people have chosen to leave their own home and make their way to the rest of the world. Chinese people have settled in many places including the United States. Today, millions of Americans of Chinese descent make their home in many parts of the country. If you are of Chinese descent, you may wish to explore your ethnic heritage. People may also have a personal interest in this fascinating and deep culture. There are many ways to experience the many faceted aspects of Chinese history, life and language in the U.S. Try sampling a few rounds of dim sum, study the Chinese language from a professional and explore one of the world’s oldest and easiest kinds of gentle exercise programs. 

Dim Sum

One of the best ways to learn about another culture is by eating food common to members of the community. China is one of the largest nations by area. This makes it a highly diverse area with lots of regional cuisines. One thing that ties together many parts of China is a meal known as dim sum. Dim sum essentially means sampling lots of little dishes during the course of a single meal. A traditional dim sum meal involves different kinds small plates served in the middle of the table for everyone to try. 

In the United States, many Chinese restaurants offer dim sum on weekends. Restaurant goers are seated. Then, servers come around with lots of carts with a wide selection of dishes. Filled dumplings are commonly served. Expect to see translucent skins holding steamed shrimp. Heartier dumplings are often served with a deeply flavored pork or beef interior. Other popular items that you can expect to enjoy include sticky rice, steamed buns, and cakes made from taro and Chinese vegetables. 

Learn Chinese

Chinese is a essentially a collection of different languages united by a writing system. Many different forms of Chinese exist including Cantonese and Mandarin. A student can pick one which they like to study in order to gain a greater understanding of a Chinese region. Studying Chinese provides a wonderful insights into Chinese culture and how it has been formed over the many centuries. If you want to study Chinese, you’ll often find lots of places to learn. Taking formal lessons at a local community college offers the chance to get formal, practical instruction from trained professionals. 

Another way to learn Chinese is with help from locals. Many large cities have Chinese cultural center. For a small fee, people can take language classes that help them master the basics. A small class of this kind can help people interact with recent migrants and prepare for a trip to China. Small classes also help people explore the wonderful art of beautiful Chinese calligraphy. This art is much prized in Chinese culture and serves as a way to combine both writing and art in the same form. Practicing it can be a lot of fun. 

Tai Chi Classes

Exercise is essential to well being. Everyone needs to exercise in order to stay in shape. Chinese culture extols the virtue of staying in shape and having a healthy body in well kept mind. One of the most utilized forms of exercise in China is a practice called tai chi. Tai chi began many many years ago as a way of practicing self defense. Today, it is a system of movements that have evolved over the years and remains gentle enough for anyone of just about any age to learn. 

Among the many goals of tai chi is stretching muscles without straining them. A person can sign up for a single class that lets them decide if this is something they would like to explore further. A series of classes can walk them through the basics and help them see how it works in greater detail. Many Chinese people like to begin their day with tai chi. Practicing along is a fabulous way to tap into truly authentic Chinese culture in America. 

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About the author: Wifred Murray

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