In our first proper teaching/learning session me and my two Chinese group members taught each other about german/chinese food, traditional dishes and table manners. They started by showing me how to cook “Luoshifen”- a traditional chinese dish consisting of rice noodles and bamboo. It was especially interesting to see that these noodles need to be cooked twice and that all further ingredients come perfectly portioned in small bags. Something really unusual for the German kitchen as I experienced it. They continued to teach me about traditional Chinese dishes and their proper Chinese pronunciation. Therefore, they taught me 4 different kinds of phonetic symbols ( /, \, -, v) that help pronuncing certain words (but it was still very difficult). The dishes included e.g. Kung Pao Chicken, Zhajianmian or”Hot Pot” which is close to the in Germany well known “Raclette”. Afterwards, they taught me Chinese table manners. I knew that especially older people have a high status in China and certain strict rules need to be followed to be respectful. However, I did not know how strict they are and that they even manifest themselves in the positioning at the table, the order in which someone raises a toast or the placement of one’s glass at the other person’s glass when bumping them together. Also, apparently, one is not allowed to point at others with chopsticks or to put them into a bowl of rice.
Then, I taught them about the German food culture, especailly about the huge variety of breads, sausages and beers. Moreover, I thought it was interesting to teach them about the fish dishes that are very popular in the north of Germany because I think that not that many people know about that. In the course of teaching them the “food culture” I taught them the pronunciation of certain dishes like Brezel, Brot or Brötchen. I used “Brötchen” to explain the concept of a “Diminutiv” (a smaller/ cuter version of something) and the sounds of ä, ö and ü. Finally, I taught them how to make “Frikadellen” via live-cooking on zoom.
Overall, our first meeting was very nice and informative. Moreover, we managed to teach each other everything we planned to teach. Only the pronunciation of Chinese words by me could’ve been better, but I guess it will come with time.