Located in Chinatown, Jing Fong, a dim sum restaurant, was founded in 1978 with only 150 seats. Now with much more than 150 seats, many people from all over New York flock to have large buffet style meals with tons of dim sum to spare.
Jing Fong has a wide varieties of food: shrimp, pork and vegetable dim sum, sesame rolls, crispy duck, glass or rice noodles, seafood dishes and lastly desserts. Many of these foods were tasty and many deserts were made to look like something else. For example, there were carrot looking desserts but in fact they were filled with coconut flakes and grounded peanuts.
Confucius made it very obvious that one of the main points of his philosophy was guanxi. (guanxi is described as the different relationships between different people.) He put an emphasis on different relationships between different people and that was very evident at the round tables we were all sitting at while we were eating. We talked differently to our teachers than we did to our friends. We made many more jokes between friends than we did to our teachers. Furthermore, the aspect of respect for elders was extremely important. The oldest at the table always get served first and always has first priority.
The Five Great Relationships was a big aspect in Confucius' philosophy. The teachings that one must act differently and give a certain amount of respect to different types of people. For example, you would not talk the same way you do to your boss as you talk to your friend. This was an event that I observed. All of us had a different amount of respect for our teachers than we had for our peers. The main relationships that Confucius focused about were ruler to servant, father to son, husband to wife, older sibling to younger sibling and lastly friend to friend. Friend to friend is one of the relationships where both people were on the same level.
In a lot Asian cultures, including Chinese, many people believe in certain superstitions and taboos. Many of these were death taboos. One example that we experienced was the teapot taboo. In Chinese culture it is a sign of death if the spout of a teapot is pointed at someone. With this in mind, we made sure to point the spout of the teapot between two people. Along with this superstition, another sign of death is sticking your chopsticks upright in your rice. It is a sign of death but also extremely rude.
This experience by far was the most beneficial to understanding Chinese culture. Not only did this give us a chance to glance what everyday Chinese culture was like, but also gave us a chance to have a lot of delicious food. If I were to convince a future eighth grader to choose this experience I would say that out of all the different choices, this one was the most involved. You are with your friends learning about different cultures, trying different foods and most importantly learning. You are not in a museum or at home, rather you are in a very large restaurant where you can hear Chinese being spoken and Chinese culture surrounding you.