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What are Chinese people thankful for this year?

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I hope you weren’t hoping for a hard news story today.

In a very unscientific poll, I asked my students (doctors) what they were thankful for this year. At some point during their “toast,” roughly 30% mentioned their health, 90% mentioned their family, and about 20% mentioned their co-workers.

Here is a somewhat random sample:

  • I am thankful for my parents, they gave me some money this year to buy a car. Now I don’t have to be cold going to work, so I am thankful for that.
  • I am very thankful to my parents-in-law, this year they gave my husband and I a lot of money to buy an apartment. Now we all live together, and they help us to raise our daughter. My husband and I are both doctors, so we don’t get to spend much time with her, but we are thankful that her grandparents can. (Thanking parents for helping raise children was the most frequently mentioned topic).
  • I am thankful for parents, who came all the way from my hometown to visit me here. They brought many local foods, and vegetables they grew in their own garden. It was all very delicious, and made me feel loved. I am very thankful for them.
  • I am thankful for my parents, who have supported me in my choice to become a doctor. Many of my friends’ parents told them what job to chose, but mine let me decide on my own. I am very thankful for that.
  • I am very thankful for my wife. She loves me, and that makes me happy. She has also done a lot of housework, and has done a good job raising our daughter. I am very thankful for her.
  • I am very thankful this year for my baby girl. My wife and I had been trying for five years to have a child. She had two miscarriages before, and we thought it wasn’t possible for us. This year though, we were successful, and I am very thankful for that.
  • I am thankful for my co-workers. Earlier this year my brother was diagnosed with colon cancer, and died shortly after that. My co-workers showed me a lot of love, and helped me do my job while I took time off to help my parents. It was a hard year, but I am very thankful for my co-workers.

I hope all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and that you take time to tell the people you love what a wonderful blessing they are in your lives.

-Tom

If you’re still looking for more news to be optimistic about, Foreign Policy has a great list of things to be thankful for this year.

New Year’s eve in China

I would have written this post yesterday, but some how sitting in my office all day, didn’t help me remember that it was a “holiday.”

So last night I planned on taking a bunch of photos and videos for you all to enjoy, but then, nothing happened! At our school that sets of fireworks pretty much weekly, there was nothing to see. We could only just make out the rumbling in the distance. My wife was surprised that I had forgotten how unimportant it is here.

So here is something a bit more fun. This is how we celebrated the New Year in Longzhou, and why I always expect New Year’s Eve in China to be crazy. Students with fireworks and massive groups of students running around a bonfire. You can expect the full story sometime soon.

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I hope you all have a wonderful time tonight, and I wish you all a happy New Year.

Christmas in China

This weekend I visited the local mall, and attended a Christmas worship service. As you can see Christmas is coming in China, and will be the theme of the posts this week. I hope all of you will be spending the holidays with the ones you love.

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The video below was taken at a local Chinese church, with performance from choirs from both of the large local churches, and the church wind ensemble.