The End of the Journey

The spring semester is over, so it is time to say goodbye. We ended our course with Chinese ghost stories. Like in Finnish folklore, there is a great variety of different kind of ghosts, monsters and supernatural creatures. There are venomous ghosts, hungry ghosts, trickster ghosts, messenger ghosts etc. It is good to keep in mind that not all ghosts are bad, there are also good spirits among them. Some of those creatures are adopted to Chinese folklore from neighbouring cultures like Korea and Japan.

Chinese have their own traditional festival for ghosts called The Ghost Festival. The 7th month in lunar calendar is Ghost Month and 15th day is Ghost Day. It is believed that on Ghost Day the deceased ancestors will visit living ones. This festival has some similarities with Mexican festival El Día de los Muertos and is also sometimes known as the “Chinese Halloween”. There is a lot of superstition in the air during the Ghost Festival: people are avoiding outdoor activities, getting married or moving to a new house. While the Ghost Festival be aware: if ghost finds you in a street and follows you home, the bad luck will follow you for the whole next year!

This course has taught me a lot. Not only about Chinese food, culture and history but also about communication skills, creativity and openness. This has been great way to improve English skills both oral and written. I noticed that this course is actually much more than teaching and learning languages or cultures. It is a great opportunity to break stereotypes and get rid of prejudices which you might have.

 

-Johanna

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