April 16th, 2018
Translated by: Mercedes A. Hernández Pacheco
Wu Dong Yu is a 21 year old that studies Languages and comes from Shanghai, China. She shared to El Universitario UPRESS her experiences, troubles and satisfactions that she has been living for the past 10 months.
Was the transition from China to Mexico difficult?
Yes, it was. The thing that I miss the most is the Chinese food; the kind that you have here it is cooked with a lot of fat; there, it is just simply steamed rice, so they do not look alike. I also miss my family a lot, especially during New Year’s Eve, but nowadays, the technology is always on my side, so we get to talk a lot through the internet.
Why did you choose UPAEP for your exchange?
The main reason was that Puebla is a very safe city and I believe UPAEP is a good institution; besides, Shanghai University of International Studies had a special program to come here, so the rest was basically to deliver all the documents in order to get a scholarship through the government.
What do you think about UPAEP?
I like it, the University itself and its surroundings are pretty safe, even the taxi service outside the campus. The study system is pretty complete and these days I have courses like Latin-American literature and Magic Mexico which is usually only for exchange students; in this course I get to see all the festivities and holidays that are celebrated and we also get to play some prehispanic instruments.
I was also very surprised that you know more about our culture than I imagined, I was able to see this during the special event you had about Asia in the campus. I got to see calligraphy workshops and I was able to participate in one of them; it was called sensorial Asia where you were blinded and they got to play music from Japan, Korea and China. I think this is a good way to spread information about Asia and it impresses me that UPAEP gets to offer this.
What were your expectations about this adventure?
Firstly, I wanted to get to know more about the Mexican ancient culture like the Mayas or Aztecs. To get my Spanish better because I also study Spanish and through that I think the relationship between China and Mexico will increase and the possibility to have businesses with Latin-American country will also expand. I do believe that between China and Mexico there are not many relations because we do not know anything about each other; therefore, there is a big need of translators that speak both languages in order to enlarge our communication.
Are you involved in some workshop or sports?
Yes, here in UPAEP I do go to the gym and this semester I am also doing Zumba, a combination of salsa, cumbia, merengue and even though the steps are complicated, I like it a lot. Later on, I would like to go to a painting class.
What do you think is the main difference between Mexico and China?
One of the biggest differences is that, for example, the punctuality and the education importance. I have known very unpunctual people in Mexico, in my culture we get to be more serious people and hardworking, but it is hard for us to relax and have fun, and I think that is a positive thing in Mexico. I believe Mexicans do not pay a lot of attention to their studies, but they do have a good attitude; when difficult times come. For example, the situation between Mexico and the United States is quite problematic but instead of focusing on the bad side, they share memes in Facebook turning it into a very positive attitude.
What would you recommend us the most to visit in China?
To visit Beijing, our capital. The Great Wall and Shanghai. Our breakwater and financial district is one of the most developed ones.
What do you like the most about Mexico and its people?
I have known many places in Mexico like Guadalajara, Querétaro, Guanajuato, Cancún and Puebla of course. The thing that I like the most and that I have seen everywhere is the talent that people have for dancing, they are also very outgoing because they probably do not know someone and yet, they will still talk to each other. In their parties, they dance a lot while in China we are more used to sing in karaokes.
What is the typical Mexican food that you like the most?
Cochinita pibil (slow roasted pork from Yucatán peninsula) is delicious and ponche (Mexican drink with fruits) as well, but the one that I do not really like is mole since the flavor is very sweet and salty at the same time and I find it pretty weird. I have also tried tamales (dish made of masa or dough which is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf) and even though I do not like them so much, we have something similar in China made with rice and with meat inside.
What do you usually do during your free time?
I like to listen to reggaeton a lot (giggles).
What are your plans after finishing your studies?
I have not decided that yet but I would like to become a Spanish professor. Nowadays is very hard to be that in China because you need a doctorate for it. That is why I think that a job in a multinational company will be easier. After finishing, I would like to work in Mexico for a while because there are less Chinese than in Spain. Although I will find some difficulties, I can develop myself faster.
Lastly, Wu Dong Yu says: “I think my time in Mexico is unforgettable, something that will stick on me for the rest of my life. I have learnt a lot, how to dance and how to communicate with different people. Through international exchanges, we have the opportunities to try out other cultures, what we like and what we do not, it has taught me a lot.”