The first clothes drier I have in my life

November 10th, 2013 by | | No Comments »

I come from Inner Mongolia, a region China.  Mongolians, who are the ethnic minority in China, and Hans, who are the majority nationality in China, live together in Inner Mongolia. My nationality is Han but some of my and my families’ lifestyles are affected by Mongolians. For example, my family drink Mongolian milk tea for breakfast. Mongolian milk tea uses specific fermented tea, and it is made in a unique way and tastes salty, very unlike British afternoon tea and Taiwan milk tea. Also, my family eats a lot of dairy products, which is the same for Mongolian families, but very different from most the Han families in other parts of China. That’s why I love western cheese, which most of the Chinese people are not used to eating. I think this is how culture naturally develops. Different groups of people create their own cultures and different cultures affect each other and they fuse.  I believe we cannot find an independent culture without any footmarks of other cultures.

Though America and China are far away from each other, the American culture and lifestyles are affecting Chinese people more and more. As a Chinese, I am influenced by my best friend Rachel’s American life in lots of ways. After being introduced to baking by Rachel, I bought an oven, the most common kitchen facility in American kitchens but almost unseen in most of the kitchens in Chinese families.  Recently, I bought a clothes drier for the first time in my life after visiting Rachel in America and staying in her parents’ house for 10 days in Boston this October.

I am still wondering after the four major inventions, the compass, gunpowder, paper-making and movable-type printing, why China didn’t invent a house appliance like clothes dryer to make daily life much easier. Traditionally, the clothes are naturally dried in China. However, if you live in Shanghai, where the weather can be raining for the whole week during winter, it’ll be so inconvenient without a dryer. Most people in Shanghai need to watch the weather forecast before deciding when to do their laundry. I think this is more related to lifestyle than economic reasons in modern China since the clothes dryer is affordable for most Chinese families now. Chinese lifestyle focuses more on adapting to nature instead of arguing against the laws of nature. But this lifestyle is changing nowadays as more and more Chinese people have access to the western world through mass media, studying abroad or traveling abroad. The changes in my life is an example of how Western culture and lifestyle affect Chinese people in their daily lives.

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