Laowai’s “list” in savoring the new China

Updated: 2008-09-25 09:30

By Hu Zhicheng (

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For those who have long dreamed of setting foot on China and making a foray into the splendid civilization of this ancient country, the 29th Olympic Games offered a chance to materialize that dream. After 16 days of near-flawless logistics and superlative athletic achievement, China impressed the world with its unprecedented openness, cultural-enriched inheritance and, of course, all visitors’ thumbs-up.

Following are an amusing lists of foreign visitors’ most cherished trivialities during their stint in China, from which we may vaguely presume what foreigners thought about China and what China showcased to people from all over the world.

The Most Frequently Used Chinese Character in Foreigners’ Chinese Name

Winner:龙(Long , Dragon)

Nominations: 伟(Wei , Greatness), 德( De, Virtue)

Having a swanky Chinese name may be the most preliminary task for a curious foreigner to get socialized in Chinese culture when the China frenzy rolls around the globe. As a cultural symbol and byword for the nation, 龙(Long , Dragon) undoubtedly won the popular vote by a wide margin.

Laowai’s “list” in savoring the new China

The Most Popular Tattooed Chinese Character

Winner:龙(Long , Dragon)

Nominations: 爱(Ai , Love), 战( Zhan, War)

龙 again! This time, it is the tattoo’s turn. Chinese character tattoos are commonly found on numerous dignitaries from the west. Kobe Bryant and David Beckham, who repeatedly stole the limelight during the Beijing Olympics, are the two most famous men to have followed the fashion trends. Being in awe of China’s profound civilization and its stunning economic growth, most foreigners chose to tattoo the character 龙 , featuring their indelible impression of the emerging nation.

Laowai’s “list” in savoring the new China

The Most Favorite Chinese Food

Winner: Jiaozi

Nominations: Beijing roast duck, Hot pot

Foreigners may not fancy miscellaneous Beijing snacks, spicy Hunan dishes or sweet Shanghai cuisine, but almost all of them are indiscriminately bewitched by Jiaozi. With chewy skin, juicy meat and refreshing taste, no wonder Jiaozi was crowned as the most reputable Chinese food.

The Most Frequently Watched Chinese TV Channel

Winner: CCTV-9

Nominations: Local English channels

For those who are upset about the failure to receive such heavyweight channels as CNN and BBC, CCTV-9 turns out a great alternative. CCTV-9, also known as CCTV International, is the English-language 24-hour news channel of China Central Television, China’s largest national TV network. Launched on September 25, 2000, CCTV International is dedicated to reporting news and information to its global audience, with a special focus on China.

Laowai’s “list” in savoring the new China

The Hottest Chinese Souvenir

Winner: Fuwa

Nominations: Cultural T-shirt, Cloisonné enamel

Thanks to the Beijing Olympics, on nearly every boulevard and outside every stadium there lies the inescapable fuwa, the Olympic mascots. Outshining souvenirs of the usual touristy sort such as paper cutting, jade figurines, ceramic incense burners and miniature pagodas; fuwa created quite a stir you have never ever imagined.

The Most Frequently Chosen Subject in Taking Pictures

Winner: Random people on street

Nominations: Historical buildings, Sceneries

Bar traveling, many foreigners come to China to meet their psychological needs such as curiosity, exploration, and experience. For them, China is a marvelous place where things don’t go as their usual ways. They strive to understand the country with their own perspective. With the language barrier still being a prickly problem, photographing the nation’s pedestrians may be the easiest method to get to know the nation.

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