Happy You and Me Party December, 2009
Chinese people all seem to have hidden talents. Sing, dance, do calligraphy, perform something. For a long time, I saw this in my Chinese government friends, and I thought, well, these are the best and the brightest, so they are smart and talented people. But the arts cultivation is wider than that.
So now I see I was wrong. My college students- who are not yet in the government- put on a Happy You and Me Party for all the foreign students and teachers about two weeks before Christmas. The event was sponsored by the school, and the International Chinese Students Organization. The ICSO students serve as the go-to helpers for foreigners- take us shopping in a school bus on Saturdays, so we can buy regular American (or German) junk food, instead of Chinese junk food, and help with recharging phones with money and related problems.
This was clearly the holiday party, but it was not called a Christmas party. I don’t think that was any cultural sensitivity to not everyone in the US or Germany or Russia or Kazakhstan being Christian. Chinese are generally surprised to learn that Jews are not Christians. I don’t know what they think of Muslims. I think the sensitivity is to the Chinese government, not wanting to promote a religious event. So, Happy You and Me Party.