Why I Learn Chinese
Even today, I still ask myself why I am so fascinated with Chinese language,history,culture,films,photos and economic development. My interest in China was not a spur-of-the-moment move,instead, all sorts of lucky chances since my childhood made me irresistibly interested in this great and impressive country. I was born in a small seaside town in Brest. In the 1970s, the only foreigners that could be seen in the town were Indians who ran restaurants and sailors from various countries waiting for their cargos to be unloaded at the harbor.
When I was about six or seven years old, however, I asked my father where those sailors in tunicsuits were from. Father told me that they should be Chinese and these sailors were very lucky,for only few citizens of that country could have the chance to go abroad.
Several years later， I asked my grandmother where those teacups that were used only on important occasions came from,she told me that her uncle who had worked for the East India Company bought them while working in China. He also brought back home two very big cloisonne vases now standing on each side of her big desk. Every time I went to my grandmother’s home， I would yearn to see that fantastic world where there were sedan chairs carried on men’s shoulders , upward-bending eaves,princesses holding small
umbrellas or fans in their hands and ladies wearing wide-sleeved garments. On another occasion, I was very surprised to see my seven-yearold British cousin in qipao （mandarin gown）,dressing up as a proud Chinese princess with yellow hair.
Later, I came to know that, to my grandparents’ generation,China was a synonym for powerfulness. Later on a Chinese shop was opened in our town.In it decorated with bright and beautiful Chinese colors, were shiny silks， figurines and images of Buddha, necklaces in odd shapes and also the intoxicating smell of incense. Recommended by the shop owner， I happily bought a Chinese incense coil， and excitedly lit it in my room. But my parents were unhappy about this and insisted I open the window to clear the air promptly.
Gradually,many conflicting opinions and thoughts swirled in my mind， but I could not find a solution. In my social circle in the 1980s, China was a synonym for unitarianism and communism,and even as an enemy and a taboo subject in conversation. It was not until I saw an American TV series Kung Fu that my early memories of China were reawakened. I never missed one episode. I borrowed from the library such books as Mother written by Pearl S. Buck,and later Red Sorghum and other works.
During my years in high school and university， I had no contact with anything about China, except a geographical question about its location in a general examination for high school students. Among many books and magazines at my home,there was not one about the country or its people.
Years later, I moved to Rennes where there was a projection room showing popular films. There, I found a number of Chinese martial art films which satisfied my fancy about China. The Asian films shown at the Chinese Film Festival gave me a great joy, too.
I often spent hours in museums in Paris visiting exhibitions on China. An exhibition on Confucius excited me greatly.Confucianism is so similar to my own religion. The messages left by Confucius and Jesus Christ have universal significance.
I even taught pupils how to use the abacus and Chinese numerals in my math class. One night I saw a documentary about a Frenchman’s life in China. When I saw sphinx-like Chinese characters, I thought I would never be able to learn them. No wonder it is said, “This is a book from heaven and this is Chinese. ” However， I convinced myself to start Chinese lessons. Three years later， I traveled to China. This wonderful trip gave me full confidence in learning Chinese.
Later, I happened to read an advertisement about a Chinese corner. There， I met a young Chinese girl and forged profound friendship with her. She became the godmother of my daughter who happens to have a pair of black almond-shaped eyes. With further study and more exchanges， I gradually knew more about the Chinese people’ s way of thinking and acting. I seem to have an indescribable feeling and an inherent affection for China. Perhaps, I was a Chinese in a previous existence.
If you want to learn Chinese and speak fluently Chinese,i recommend you get this TPRS Chinese course, learn Chinese easy with fun.