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If you start looking for hot water instead of ice water, thinking that western cuisine is a bit too sweet and salty for you, reaching for tea more often than coffee, and when you spontaneously assimilate yourself into Chinese society rather than deliberately imitating the way of living like a Chinese, it can be proved that as a foreigner, you must have lived in China long enough.
Some say the biggest take away from living in a place for a long time is the memory that you have. Actually, deeply assimilate into the way of the local life is the most exciting thing. Assimilation means changes as well as an approbation of the philosophy hidden behind the way of a different life.
Many foreign people get to understand that “no sweet without sweat” is Chinese’s attitude towards life through the sweet after taste in Chinese green tea. They come to know the close bonds between neighbors in a community through the sentence “have you eaten yet?” that Chinese people use to greet each other. And they understand that Chinese parents have great ambitions and expectations for their children in education by the words frequently adopted by Chinese parents “take a look at other people’s children”. All of which has nothing to do with right or wrong, but embodies the unique charm of Chinese culture.
“The most important thing is that you’re no longer pursuing the identity of ‘a senior foreigner that knows China inside out’, but to explore and appreciate your life here”, once a foreign people commented. Indeed, imitating behavior and language are the things you may do when trying to fit in at first. To deepen the assimilation, you need to really appreciate and understand Chinese culture. It’s not only a philosophy of life for everyone in this world, but also the correct way to treat different civilizations today with the trend of globalization. (People's Daily Online)