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Barbecue in China - ShaoKao

时间:2014/8/1 21:24:49 作者:learnmorechina 来源: 查看:87 评论:0

Tks for  Keats Education shares experience of living in China from foreign students perspective. 


Author: Rachel Shaw.Rachel now is learning Chinese in China at Keats School. She writes this article to share her experience of living in Kunming while studying Mandarin abroad in China. There are many culture shocks when you study abroad. Let’s hear about what Rachel feels when she learns Chinese in China.

 

 

Shaokao: Barbecue...But Better

烧烤, shaokao. Translation: ‘barbecue’. What a paltry understatement. Since I moved to Kunming to learn Chinese in China, I had heard this word frequently, always vaguely wondering what the hype was about – how can barbecues be a cultural attraction?

These so-called ‘barbecues’ are ubiquitous in Kunming; Dotted along street corners, lining small and large avenues are extensivestalls selling freshly grilled food in the open air. Laid out in a very pleasing array are layers of skewered vegetables, meat, fish and seafood. Some are seasoned with chilli, five-spice and other herbs, others are still plain. You pick the food you want, put it on a polystyrene tray, give it to the chef and then take your seat on a stool around one of the manyknee-high Chinese-style tables.Often these establishments are integrated into street markets, taking opportunity of the footfall of hungry shoppers, although seen through the daytime, they really come alive as evening falls.Barbecue in China - ShaoKao

My first shaokao experience was on a very large street corner, surrounded by many sellers of watermelon, toasted chestnuts, masses of fried potato cooked in enormous woks, and then of course the vast variety of barbecue stalls. So, at about nine o’clock, I arrived on the back of a motorcycle (terrifying, but that’s another story), with my housemates. We were meeting a few of their work colleagues for a sociable dinner.Barbecue in China - ShaoKao


As we sat down we were heartily greeted by all three, two of whom were evidently more the merrier for having already had a few pints of Chinese beer. Being a rather novel encounter, I was centre of attention for quite a few minutes. They were all lovely; they were super-friendly and notwithstanding my pitiful Mandarin, extremely eager to include me in conversation. My friend’s boss, Aofu was particularly enthusiastic, frequently interrupting the others to exhort them to speak mànmàn de!, so that I would have a chance of following the conversation.We talked of food and culture, countries and politics, our hopes and dreams – I even learnt a new word, 博大精深bódàjīngshēn. Respectively the individual characters mean expansive, great, essence and deep; altogether meaning great of expanse and deep of essence. The standard translation is “wide-ranging and profound”.


The thing I really liked about shaokao (apart from the food, obviously), was the distinctimpression of communality. In the midst of the warm cooking smells, sitting just above the pavement and thefact that I was participating in the same activity with a multitude of other peoplein the open air, honestly made me feel rather serene.


Barbecue in China - ShaoKao

Not to get too wistful…Shaokao really is a wonderful facet of Chinese culture, and I personally am looking forward to some more grilled squid very soon…


tag:Barbecue ShaoKao 烧烤 
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