Year Abroad

Celebrating the Holidays Abroad

We didn’t get any days off for Christmas this year because they don’t celebrate it here in China. So both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day I had normal classes with dictations and homework. It wasn’t too bad, though, some of my classmates wore a Santa hat and in one of our lessons we did presentations in Chinese on how we celebrate Christmas (or New Year’s Eve for people of other cultures) in our home countries, it was really nice. We also did a class Secret Santa and I received a lovely candle holder from my Kazakh classmate. On Christmas Day my friends and I got together for a little Christmas party in my friends flat. It’s really cool to get to know so many people from all over the world. New friends pop up weekly from other countries and it’s always great fun.

For me, my biggest fear of the holiday was New Year’s Eve. We had five days off for this occasion and I was afraid I would get in a lazy mood and miss my friends and boyfriend back in Portsmouth too much. I’m happiest when I travel and explore new places so I decided I wanted to go somewhere fun to celebrate. So on the 30th of December three of my friends and I flew off to Hong Kong!

Hong Kong and Mainland China are like two different worlds. China is not a bad place, but Wuhan is one of those cities that has recently seen effects of the rising Chinese economy, and the whole city is undergoing a revamp. It’s a bit difficult to explain what it is like here without having seen it yourself, but believe me when I say Hong Kong and China are not the same. Going to Hong Kong was like coming back to Earth after five months on Mars. Open Internet access, ocean, cleaner air and the fact that everything was so organised. You can really tell that the British has had an influence in developing the place, they even had Cadbury chocolates!

We saw many of the major sights of Hong Kong, and we even went on a day trip to former Portuguese colony Macau. It was so strange to know I was still on Chinese territory but here is a little part of it that looks just like a European village where they all speak Portuguese.

The countdown to 2015 we spent standing on a rooftop in Hong Kong watching the fireworks. The new year started off quite well and I hope it will be a good year. Happy New Year everyone!

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