Making friends with local Chinese people is an important part of your life when you stay and study in China. Some good Chinese friends cannot only be a good company for you when you’re far away from home and family but also facilitating element for your language study.
For outgoing or a people person, making friends is something very normal and easy. However, for those who are shy or sensitive with cultural differences, it could be something challenging.
If you’re one of them, I would say you will find it’s not as difficult as imagine after you reading this article.
The most important thing when making friends with Chinese people is staying open mind and being yourself.
You might be curious or frightened when first arrived in China. Why people keep staring at me and giggling? Do I look weird or something wrong with me? Am I behaving rudely? Stop! You’re just worrying too much.
Most of the Chinese people are friendly and enthusiastic to foreigners. However, as you can tell, there are big differences between the appearances of Chinese people and foreigners. When Chinese people are staring at you, it’s mainly because they’re interested in your exotic looks and curious about your culture. They just don’t know how to show their hospitality to you until they can confirm whether you speak English or Mandarin.
People say that only common values and interests can bring a group of people together and be friends, but in this situation, the differences between cultures are the biggest attraction for communication and information exchange.
To integrate into the local people’s life, you don’t have to act and speak exactly like them. You just need to stay open mind, be friendly and be yourself.
Join in some local events and activities to expand your friend zone
When you start your new life in a totally strange city, it would be difficult and no clue. Where can I meet good people? What kind of activities I can attend to find someone sharing common hobbies?
Local sports club would be a good option for a sports fan. Basketball, Rugby, Soccer ball, cycling and hiking, etc, you can find any sports club that you can name out if you’re in Kunming. This is a dynamic city full of fun for the sports lover.
Except for sports, there are also various activities you can join. Dancing club and dancing class, free language exchange event held at Keats School every Wednesday night, theme parties at different pubs and bars. Social life in Kunming can be active and lively. Lots of Chinese people also share the love for the party too.
Besides these bustling events, you can also find places to learn handcrafts such as pottery and painting while meeting people at the same time. Or you can also go to the professional gym workshop to make friends with lovers of workouts.
To attend a small group Chinese class could also be a good way to meet people with common interests and sharing the same values. The small group Chinese class offered by Keats School is always a good platform for foreigners to meet people and make friends.
They love gourmet
Most of Chinese are a fan of gourmet, not only local gourmet or Chinese gourmet, but the gourmet across the world.
It would be good to invite Chinese people to join a meal together. They would take it as a sign of hospitality and friendship. During the meal, you could share lots of information and get to know each other furthermore.
Among tons of Chinese gourmet, hotpot is the most popular meal among Chinese people. The boiling soup and smoking hot flavour of the food is just like the hospitality of Chinese people. The steaming air of the hotpot can melt any ice among strangers or people still not that familiar with each other.
Inviting Chinese people to enjoy a meal at your place is also a good way to show your hospitality and friendly attitude, especially when you can share the food of your homeland. It’s a good way to introduce your culture and let others know more about who you are. You guest, at the same time, would know that you’re happy to make friends with them.
Showing support as a friend
Like an old saying, “A friend in need is a friend indeed”, your support and encouragement will let your Chinese friends feel your sincerity when they confront problems. The best thing about having a friend is always about getting supported and encouraged by somebody you trust and love. Because the power a single person can have is too limited, and true friendship enables you to get supported by your friends, therefore you can produce great and magical power.
To be respectable and honest
In fact, we all know that getting along between people is a very complicated thing. Friends are so precious; it is not really that easy to have some true friends. But if you can treat others sincerely and show your respects and honesty, then you will harvest the best friendship.
When facing problems with people around you, the best way is to tell them your truest thoughts, and don’t cover up the problem with so-called white lies. When you don’t know what to do, telling the truth is the best way to solve the problem.