So, let me give a short introduction as to the purpose of this blog and what I'll be blogging about. On January 23, 2009, I will travel to Beijing, China. I will be there for exactly four months (until May 23), and I will live with a Chinese family. I'm going as part of an exchange program between the Beijing Jingshan School and Newton South/North High Schools. This exchange program dates back to the late 70's, and is the oldest of its kind in the US. As part of the program, I'll live and go to school in China, immersing myself in the language and culture.
My previous experience with Mandarin Chinese* is non-existent before I joined the program, and I only began learning in June 2008. This means that in the beginning, I anticipate being completely clueless of what's happening around me most of the time, as well as enduring frequent headaches. I think it's a small price to pay to live in China.
In writing this blog, I hope I'll be able to inform you of my experiences living in China and experiencing its culture firsthand. I've always wanted to go there, and I think now is the perfect time since China is emerging onto the world stage, especially after the 2008 Olympics.
Feel free to read and make comments on what you read here. Enjoy!
*Mandarin is the official dialect of China. Cantonese is mainly spoken in Southern China, and is the language of many ex-pats from Hong Kong and Macau. There are also hundreds (probably thousands) of other dialects spoken in various other regions throughout China. You can check out the Wikipedia article on Chinese here.
p.s.-I'm not sure I'll be able to view the entire blog in China due to censorship, and if I'm not, I don't think I'll be able to view comments. So in that case e-mail them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, make them here. I'll post it once I'm in China.