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Tea culture can be seen as one of the most traditional ways to represent the Chinese Culture. Chinese culture values tea drinking as an art form and has a system of tea classification. It has been valued in China for more than four thousand years, first used only for medical purposes and later used for its quality of refreshing. Chinese have appreciated this unique drink, using tea for gifts, rituals and ancestor worship (Zheng). Enjoyment of tea first spread to countries close to China, and centuries later, to the rest of the world.
The tea I picked is Da Hong Pao. This type of tea became famous not only because its astonishing price, but also its benefits for human health and the complicated processes to be produced.
There are several reasons that I am interested in tea culture and picked Da Hong Pao as my culture object. Tea is a traditional object from China. I want introduce tea culture in order to let more people know about my country and cultures.
Tea culture is famous worldwide. When people talk about Chinese cultures, most of the time the first thing come up to their mind is tea. More and more people from all around the world start to get to know tea culture. But most of them don’t know the how did drinking tea became an art form in China. Tea is the wisdom of laborers of ancient China. Because of the rareness of pure Da Hong Pao and its tons of benefits for human health, back in times it became so expensive and was only reserved for royal families.
I don’t have any previous experiences about tea culture because I have never gone through every step of drinking tea myself. But my grandfather does, I have seen my grandfather went through every single step of making Da Hong Pao for a special guest one day. My grandfather took out the complete tea set and spent about 10 minutes of pouring hot water in to the pot back and force. It was a complicated process and every step seemed similar but they have to go in order. I was watching every step the whole time. My grandfather told me that other types of teas are fine, but when it comes to high-level tea, especially Da Hong Pao, only went through the whole process can give the best taste of tea. In our culture, drinking tea is a way of showing respect. For Da Hong Pao, it is seen the highest respect to other people because it is considered the best tea. Today it is a common custom to offer when people come to visit, this shows the welcome and hospitality to the guests. I can really see the respect from my grandfather to the guest and also the respect from the guest to my grandfather. So, whenever my family went to visit others, if the host offers tea, I have to stay in manners all the time or my parents would be mad at me and a long conversation would take place when we get home.
Daily life etiquettes are the biggest part when it comes to raising children in Chinese culture, including meeting etiquette, conversation etiquette, visiting etiquette and etc. No matter how old the kids are, if they are able to understand the language, it can be a serious problem when children do not behave according to the traditional etiquettes. When it comes to tea culture, being polite and respectful is very important. The ones offering tea shows the great respect by giving the guests the best taste, and the ones are being offered have to show more respect and gratitude, otherwise it will be seen as rude. When someone is seen as a rude person, it is a very serious problem. Saying a person rude in Chinese culture is not just saying that person is lack of manners, it means something a lot more serious and deeper than the word seems like. And most of the Chinese is okay when someone says you are bad, but if someone says something bad about your parents, it cannot be tolerated.
I personally don’t like that etiquettes of tea culture. I agree adults should show respects and gratitude but children don’t have to. Kids are supposed to have fun in their childhood. They shouldn’t be restrained by those complicated rules, because kids most of the time don’t understand how etiquettes work, they just have to follow what the adults told them to. It is not reasonable for the kids to follow what adults say, if they can’t even understand why. As they grew older, they will learn more and more about etiquettes.
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