Learn Mandarin, The Zeitgeist Whispered

20 May

Hello World! Said the first HTML page conceived, or so they say. The Zeitgeist is also telling us of another paradigm shift. The changes and the resulting growth of China are all good reasons to learn Mandarin.

China – a country on everyone’s lips and mind, is my new home. I moved here to learn Mandarin. Sometimes I ask myself why. It is far home to friends and family. It is far to Swedish food and especially meatballs (not counting IKEA), but I know the answer and even though I sometimes miss home – China is an exhilarating place to live. The zeitgeist is enthralled by Chinas rise to fame and so I am. Living in Beijing and studying the Chinese language not only is a good idea, but when you live in Beijing and see all the rapid changes here, learning Mandarin also feels, deep in ones bones, like a good idea.

If there is one aspect of China that intrigues me more than any other, though it is very interesting, it is not Chinas 5000 years of history. Though it is indeed remarkable that a country has lasted this long, while no other state has, it is not it’s past that persuaded me to move to China.

Neither is it Chinas modern history, and I really love history. I have studied it and red maybe 10 books on the civil war and the communist party’s victory, and what happened after – but it is not why I am in awe of this awaked giant. For it is a giant that now stirs, everyone knows it. But it is not the fact that the dragon is emerging from its long sleep that made me move to Beijing either.

Being an economics major, it is of course really cool what has happened in China in the last 20 years. I say cool because I am an economics geek – but not even my keen interest in economics (and the fact that China holds every type of record there is for fast economical growth, to date), persuaded me to uproot. It is Chinas future that beckoned me, it is not what it is today, but what it will become tomorrow that has me so enthralled.

In the popular satirical TV-series South Park, episode 8:11, the young man known as Eric Cartman sees China’s potential during the 2008 Olympics. He was one of many that did so. China’s flawless execution of the grand event is seen as a one of many symbols of China’s ascension to the world’s stage. Now all the spotlights are on China. It has weathered the economic storm with unsettling grace. While the world’s stock markets plummeted, property values collapsed and there was even talk of wretched protectionism raising its ugly head, China was smooth sailing. While Europe foundered with its first EMU crisis as Greece, the cradle of western civilization, seemed close to default of its public debt, China’s economy grew by a fantastic 10%.

It is crazy to me that a country with its history, recent history infact (!) is flying past Japan as the worlds second largest economy. That alone is enough reason to take stock of ones options and consider China as a good place to put some of ones eggs. Learning Mandarin seems to hold the key to a great many of things. For one, Chinas growing IT sector. Little is it known but China is beginning to excel there too. It is already, of course, the world’s largest manufacturer. What is not as well know is that it also quietly out-exported The United States in dollars worth of high tech stuff even four years ago. There is talk of Chinas space program – and as it stands now China will be the third nation to independently put people in orbit. Chinas hunger for all things pretty and expensive has also, somehow, gone largely unnoticed around the world’s breakfast tables. Today Chinas consumes 15% of all the world’s luxury. It is Chinas time now. The zeitgeist is whispering about the many startling achievements of the middle kingdom. Learning the language that holds the key to greatest paradigm shift of our time seems like a decent idea, doesn’t it?

Rui Ming works for a Mandarin Language School in China that is a great option for those that want to learn mandarin. See the program overview page for more information about learning Mandarin in China.

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