April 23, 2020
Name: Summer 刘春平
Hometown: Guilin, Guangxi, China 广西桂林
Job title: Student Activities Manager 学生活动主管
We are happy to introduce Summer, CLI’s Student Activities Manager!
Q: What value do you hope to bring to CLI through your new position as the Student Activities Manager?
A: I hope to show CLI students the parts of Guilin that you can’t see on the internet or read about in a book. I will give students the opportunity to touch local culture and experience the “real” Guilin. For example: to understand famous people throughout Guilin’s long history, experience local Guilin culture in rural areas, enjoy all four beautiful seasons of the year, and taste authentic Chinese cuisine. Of course, the most important aspect is to give students the opportunity to practice their Chinese outside of the classroom.
Q: What is your favorite Chinese holiday? Why?
A: My favorite Chinese holiday is Tomb Sweeping Festival. It is my favorite because I have the chance to worship my ancestors, and I believe this is very important. Tomb Sweeping day is every year during the spring; the scenery in Guilin is particularly beautiful during this time. My family and I can go out walking in the early spring, worship our ancestors, wrap Zongzi (a traditional Chinese snack consisting of sticky rice, various nuts, dried fruit and meat, all wrapped in a banana leaf and steamed) and enjoy fresh baby bamboo shoots (common in Chinese cooking). This is a simple holiday that combines family, food and the beautiful scenery of Guilin. That is why Tomb Sweeping day is my favorite holiday.
Q: If you could take a student out to any restaurant in Guilin, which one would it be and what would you recommend he or she eat? Why?
如果你带学生去桂林的一家餐馆吃饭，你会选择哪一家? 你会推荐哪个菜? 为什么?
A: If I could take a student to any restaurant in Guilin, I would take them to Small Southern Country (小南国). It’s not too far from CLI and I recommend they eat the hot and sour beef soup. This dish has very authentic flavors familiar to locals in Guilin. Guilin cuisine combines many aspects of the eight famous cuisines in China, especially Hunan’s. Hot and sour soup is tart and spicy, and is a great starter for any meal. The beef is also very fresh. This dish is especially popular among girls.
Q: What do you think is the most interesting place to visit in or around Guilin?
A: I think the most interesting place to visit around Guilin is the Longsheng Rice Terraces. At the rice terraces, you can experience the magic and beauty of nature, as well as a variety of ethnic minorities. There are four different minority cultures that live in the rice terraces. They and their ancestors have been cultivating the terraces for hundreds of years and have had very little contact with the outside world. At the terraces you can see what a simple agricultural society is like, and experience the tranquility and beauty of nature.
Q: What is the most valuable thing you have learned at CLI?
A: The most valuable thing I have learned at CLI is “knowledge.” I have the opportunity to learn about different cultures and languages. Every time I speak with a student I feel like I am learning. CLI students often give the teachers and CLI Team a “Western Culture Class” to teach us about their home countries and their personal lives. Some of the classes include: Mexican culture, Lebanese culture, Israeli culture as well as classes about cuisine from all over the world! Through opportunities like these, I can continuously learn new things and expand my horizons. CLI is like a miniature version of the world; by looking through the “window” of CLI, I can learn about and understand the outside world.
最宝贵的是知识。在CLI, 我可以学习到不同国家的文化、语言。每一次和学生交流的过程，就是我学习的过程。学生常常给我们CLI的 老师们开授文化课，比如：墨西哥文化、黎巴嫩文化、以色列文化等等，同时，还有饮食文化课。所以在这样的过程中，我也可以不断地学习到新的知识。CLI就是一个缩小版的世界，通过CLI这个窗口，我可以了解外面更大的世界
Q: What is your favorite Chinese idiom?
A: My favorite Chinese idiom is 船到桥头自然直 (Chuandao qiaotou ziran zhi; When the boat approaches the pier, it will go straight with the current – everything will be alright). Why? This idiom has a very positive message. It tells us not to worry too much about things that have yet to happen, and in the end, everything will work itself out. As long as we act practically in the face of difficulties, we will always find a way to overcome.
Q: If you could visit any foreign country, which one would it be? Why?
A: If I could visit any country in the world, it would be Greece. In college I read lots of books on Greek Mythology and I was mesmerized by the stories inside. I hope one day to have the opportunity to go there and see for myself the ruins of ancient Greece’s sacred temples. I also really want to see the Mediterranean Sea, which Greece is situated next to. I love the beautiful Island of Santorini, the blue sky and vast open sea; all of this coupled with Greece’s infamous blue and white seaside architecture, I can imagine it is like being in heaven.