I spent a large amount of time to study culture of different regions of the world as part of my ‘Zero Cost MBA(Global Manager for 21st Century)’ project. Studying about China was one of the important aspects of my entire learning. China Daily(largest English language daily in China) was been part of my reading on regular basis. Over the years, I have developed a depth of knowledge in many different Chinese matters though such readings. Just with a laptop and internet, I have exchanged information with my Chinese friends. We exchanged Hindi-Chinese learning lessons. Through this virtual learning, exchange information, I developed a comfortable level to interact with people from China.
I live in Bengaluru, which is known as the Silicon Valley of India. But not all the areas represent the IT culture. I live in outskirts of the city, which is home to local population, largely unaffected from this IT boom. An old area, where you can hardly find any skyscrapers unlike other parts of this city. I have moved to this area 2 years earlier to finish my self-designed learning path(now known as Zero Cost MBA)
But unlike virtual world, it is rare to find anyone from China in this part of the city. But life is all about surprises, isn’t it?
One day, I was traveling through BMTC (Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation) for some work towards another part of the same city 🙂 I found myself sitting next to the person, who seemed not to belong from this place. Thanks to the advantage of wide screen of his smartphone, I could very easily take a birds eye view into his smartphone. Can you imagine, what I found out? He was reading China Daily. For a daily reader, it is not difficult to identify logo. Subsequent glancing showcased few Chinese characters. I may not know Chinese characters that well, but at least I can tell which one belongs to this language. I did not wait a second to ask, if he is from China. He said ‘yes’.
Then I asked, ‘from which place?’ He said, you would probably do not know the place other then Beijing or HongKong. Then, I told him that I read the same newspaper regularly and reading it from past 3 years. Definitely, I know a lot abut China. He smiled and said, ‘Nanjking’. I said,’Wow! You are from the ancient capital city of China’. He was very surprised on listening the word, ‘ancient capital city of China’. Probably, no Indian has ever described his hometown so historically correct to him.
We started talking further and I told him more about ‘Zhu Ge Liang’, ‘Rice Dumpling’, ‘Confucianism’, and importance of Red Color in Chinese traditions. He was very surprised with my knowledge about China. He was more surprised to find that I even know about by ‘Romance of 3 Kingdom’ novel. During all these conversations, everyone sitting around in the Bus was looking with equal surprise. But this conversation could not last longer, as I had to get down from the bus to make a transit. This 20 minute quick conversation ended with a firm handshake and his introduction, ‘I am John from Nanking. Pleased to meet you’.
I did not get chance to either get his contact details or his where about as I had to get down quickly. I simply said, ‘Enjoy your stay in India’. This entire conversation gave me a lot of confidence in any such future interactions with people from China.
Hopefully, I will continue to learn more about China and meet more ‘John from Nanking’ in future.