I just returned from a trip to China and Tibet. Although, I visited some remarkable sites like The Great Wall and Potala Palace, what fascinated me was how engaged the Chinese people were in leisure activities. The Chinese culture encourages mental and physical exercise as well as social interaction. A large percent of the Chinese population play Mah Jongg and practice Tai Chi every week.
Mah Jongg was played everywhere in China. Many parks and restaurants had Mah Jongg games going on throughout the day. In fact, my tour group was moved into a quieter private room at a restaurant, because several Mah Jongg games were being played in the larger dining room. My tour guide informed me that betting on Mah Jongg is pretty much illegal in China and that gambling during a game shouldn’t be more than 2 Yuan or about 35 cents in USA currency.
Tai Chi, a martial art exercise was also being practiced everywhere. In the city of Xian at Xingquig Park, I saw hundreds of Chinese people participating in Tai Chi. I even joined in and practiced these yoga type movements and dancing. I immediately felt more balanced and less stressed.
So what did I learn about the Chinese culture? That it is important to participate in leisure activities, like Mah Jongg and Tai Chi. It helps one “chill out“ as well socially connect with other people. And if these leisure activities are working in a country like China with 1.3 billion people, about 1/5 the earth’s population, they can certainly help us all get along better in the USA.Share