Making Chinese Friends, by India Basigni

So, you’ve finally made it to China after months of preparation. You’ve moved into your new apartment, started to settle into your new routine, but you feel like something is missing. You imagined you’d be completely immersed in Chinese culture, struggling to make sense of the language and traditions; yet you continuously find yourself in an English-speaking environment. You speak English at work, your housemate speaks English and it’s easy to become friends with the other foreign teachers. You are living and working in China, but you are still on the outside looking in. The easiest way to overcome this barrier is to make Chinese friends.

Making Chinese friends is actually very similar to making new friends who are not Chinese. In fact, it might actually be easier to make Chinese friends as Chinese people are just as interested in learning about your country and culture as you are about theirs. Strangers will come up to you in the most unusual locations asking to add you on WeChat or for a quick selfie and you’ll find that everyone is extremely friendly, welcoming and patient to your many blunders as you adjust to a new way of life.

So, here are some tips on how to make Chinese friends:

1. Approach a Chinese person and say hello.
2. Be prepared for them not to respond in English.
3. If so, bring out your acting skills.
4. Add them on WeChat.
5. Invite them out for food or for another social activity.
6. Accept their invitation for food or any other activities.
7. Keep repeating no.5 and 6.
8. Congratulations you have made a Chinese friend.

You’ll find that Chinese people are not so different from you after all. Just be yourself and you’ll soon make lots of Chinese friends who you have lots in common with. You’ll be eating out together, going to the cinema together, going on holiday together etc. The sky’s the limit!

So, what are you waiting for? Go make a Chinese friend today.

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