Guanxi (pronounced gwon-chee) & The Summer Palace, Tiananman Square, Mongolian Dinner
May 23, 2011
你好’ (ni hao!),
It has been such a busy weekend for our team here in Beijing, China. We visited the summer palace which was Emperor Lians vacation home. It sits on the hillside, in front of a lake outside the city of Beijing. The lake was man made, and it is maintained as an attraction with its serene lakeside walk and garden. The views were amazing, and it was nice to get away from the busyness of center city Beijing.
On Sunday we went to Tiananmen Square and the forbidden city. I had a little knowledge about both, but what was most astonishing was the vastness of each place, and how ornate all of the buildings in the forbidden city were.
The Entrance to the Forbidden City
Inside the first courtyard
This trip has begun, or continues to developed many of my friendships. Last night I went to a traditional Mongolian dinner with my two professors and two other students. I learned more about Chinese tradition and culture. Our host Mr. Song talked a lot about Guanxi (pronounced Gwon-chee), or relationships. It was fascinating to learn how much the Chinese value friendship, and do so in such a loving and respectful way. They make you feel like family, and after last nights dinner, if I ever need anything while in Beijing I would be taken care of by Mr. Song’s family like they were my own.
Mr. Song then explained the three things Guanxi can relate to, and that every Chinese should maintain.
- We must maintain a good relationship between ourselves and nature.
- We must maintain a good relationship between ourselves and others.
- We must maintain a good relationship within ourselves by keeping a balance of body, mind, and spirit.
Since these are the principles of Chinese philosophy it also carries over into the business environment. You first become friends and establish a relationship, and then you conduct business. This is the single largest thing that distinguishes China from the rest of the world.
To me this concept has both pros and cons. The most obvious pro being you establish a trusting relationship with your client. Trust is a very important value in the business world, and knowing you can trust whom you are working with, or conducting business with is important. After thinking more on this concept I did however realize that business will indeed move a lot slower. I asked Mr. Song about this and he couldn’t agree more.
We ate in a Mongolian hut called a Yurt.
If a host gives a blue haduh to their guest, it means they value their friendship like they value water. It is a necessity and a blessing to their life.
Baby Lamb…(This is the highlight of Dr. Gutgolds vegetarian lifestyle)
Will, Song, and myself.
This banner was given as a gift from Mr. Song and means.
“A genuine vision is derived from simplicity of life, and a real success is conceived in serenity of mind.”
mmm mmm good!
Watermelon and Dragon fruit for dessert. The meal, and the experience was amazing, and is something I will never forget!
So as you can see, it’s all good in Beijing, China! Until next time…
再見 [再见] (byebye),