Cultural exchange

Cultural exchange

Huanyao Gao shows UGA senior Jordan Spivack how to hold his chopsticks.

Photo by: Peter Frey

American UGA students got some tips from their Asian classmates before a recent trip to China: how to use chopsticks, how to say “thank you,” and the protocol for giving gifts. In return, the Americans gave the Chinese students line-dancing lessons.

UGA Ph.D. student Yang Yang laughs as she tries to follow the steps to a dance during a lesson in Memorial Hall. To her right is Rongrong Liu, China program coordinator for the International Center at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker

Under the direction of local dance instructor Jason Tweedell, the students and UGA staff members kicked, turned and hopped to pop and country tunes at a line-dancing session in Memorial Hall. Afterward, they ate barbeque.

Earlier in the summer, at a lunch at Peking restaurant, students from the Terry College watched and listened as Huanyao Gao, a Ph.D. student from Beijing, showed them how to hold their chopsticks correctly. “Shee shee” means “thank you,” they learned, and gifts must be given in even numbers, two or six, but not four, which is associated with funerals. The students traveled to China to spend five weeks learning about the globalization of information technology.