My name is Prao. I am thirty-something-year-old woman who was born in Thailand but currently live in America.
I started WordPress account long time ago. And I forgot about it. You know, job searching, class preparing, research paper, conference, life..
No, I won’t make any more excuses. Why did I come back and try to start again?
I have committed myself last year (and I am glad I did!) to teach classes about East Asia and China. I don’t know what got into my mind when I started to write the class syllabi and said to the college that I want to teach these classes.
And they have approved my class proposals. Oops, did I just get myself into trouble?
I did not have much time to think or worry. The show must go on! I finally forced myself to read more about China and its linkages to the world. And I have to say, my decision to commit myself is not a bad one. I enjoy it. And the college allow me to share it with my students.
My perception about China when I was very young was they were ‘communist’ (and it is supposed to be bad); the government forced everyone in the country to do specific jobs; and no one can talk about politics. The images in my head were poor and hungry people. They used to have emperors (I learned this piece of information from being a big fan of the Chinese period movies and dramas). They use chopsticks to eat rice, and they can jump really high.
I went to China for the first time in 2004 as a research associate (while I was studying a Master degree) to interview some CEOs of multinational cooperation and
government officials in Shanghai.
And that’s all I have about China since then. I never have chance to go back again.
Fast forward quickly, I graduated and got a job in a government bank in Thailand. I was responsible for writing articles about ASEAN and China’s economies.
There you go, I needed to learn more about them. The bank sent me to join “China Studies” on weekend in a university in Bangkok. All classes were in Thai but sometimes we had guest lecturers from China. And everyone in the class can speak Chinese, yes, except me. I felt like it was the longest two months in my life. I worked eight to five on weekdays and attended classes on weekend. However the struggle was, I pushed myself to attend every class.
And finally, one day I told myself that my perception about China when I was young was just a tiny part of her long long history and some are wrong (like they can jump really high). And I think many people in the world still think like that.
Starting November last year, I started researching more and was fascinated by how many studies that all scholars and non-scholars have done about China, not only economics, but every other aspects. Just try typing ‘China’ on google, you will find tons of pages.
I have learned much more about their history and culture. It was like I was reading dramas; complicated, sometimes sad, yet beautiful. And they are some part of the reason why we had “China Rise” during last decade. Chinese people are getting wealthier. Are they happier? Are they having a better life? Will China become the superpower country instead of the United States in the near future? Will they abandon the central plan economic system? What happen to their stock market last year? Is that the sign of recession in China? How do we prepare for the best and the worst scenarios in China?
I have many questions and I have many messages to tell. I want to inform some people that their perceptions or pictures in their mind about China have probably
changed now. My piece of information could be right or wrong. I am open for all corrections and discussions.
See you soon,