Hospitality, a skill “Made in China”
The last episode from the beautiful area of Inner Mongolia. Say goodbye to the area of nomadic tribes, grasslands and all the sheep meat. But before that, let me say some words about the amazing people on the way.
To me it seems that hospitality in China is valued strongly in Asian countries, maybe even more than in Western countries concerning how a guest is taken care of. Whether visiting friends or strangers, I personally have the feeling of always being truly welcome as a guest, or a ‘foreign friend’ as I am often called. And this friendship usually goes way beyond just some warm welcoming words on my arrival. This is another of the many stories along the way:
As mentioned in the last article I made it to the Mongolian City of Wulanhot together with Brother Bao and a totally broken tire. He drives me through the city until I finally found a repair shop. Afterwards, he introduces me to his family and friends. What followed was a lot of food, beer and rice wine. His good friend Fu runs an Italian ice cream shop who refused to let me go before having tried his amazing gelato. On the next day, brother Fu also introduces me to his brother. Again it is a lot of food, ice cream and the feeling of being heartly welcomed by those who were complete strangers few days ago.
This kind of hospitality all across the country is incomparable. Maybe it can sometimes even be a bit too much. For the time being, brother Bao insisted in covering the hotel accommodation. Refusal would be considered rude. Or during farewell, when your host insists on giving you a lot of food for the way or stay with you until the very last minute before you leave. Even after your stay, former hosts will care about your well-being, asking you whether reached safely or reminding you to take care of yourself.
In Germany, we probably don’t spend as much time (and money) on guests as I personally experienced in China. For example, we often give the guest free time to explore a place on his own and not accompany him for the whole time. This cultural difference might lead to the misunderstanding that the guest is not very welcome. In fact, it is more a respect of the guests privacy. Before starting the next article, some things and places to know about Wulanhot:
Chenghis Khan Museum and Japanese War Memorial
It’s the city of the nomadic people cultivating the Greater Kinghan area since more than 6000 years. During the Jin Dynasty, well known Chenghis Khan formed the Mongolian Empire with its borders reaching deep into the European continent. His descendant, Kublai Khan later unified China as a whole, formed the Yuan Dynasty and had great influence on the culture that we generalize as typical Chinese. (For example tea pots that were mainly used by the nomads.)
Chenghis Khan Memorial
The impressive Chenghis Khan Memorial is a bit more outside the city and as impressive as the mighty ruler himself.
Now, it’s time to ride my Mongolian steel horse to another province!