Iron and Silk: Mark Salzman`s Cultural Learning in China Essay

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Iron and Cotton is an autobiographical publication by Mark Salzman, where he describes his two-year connection with living and working in Chinese suppliers. During the period from 1982 to 1984 Salzman worked well as a language language instructor at Hunan Medical University in Changsha and this encounter became the foundation for his novel.

The key character of the novel is usually fond of Chinese language lifestyle and culture. Following graduating from the Chinese language department of Yale College or university he makes a decision to leave for Cina in order to boost his english language proficiency and get acquainted with Oriental existence and traditions. Spending much time leaning Chinese language and traditions and traditions of this country Mark is certain that he’s familiar with this country but truth comes to always be quite different by his expectations.

The book is a perfect insight into the life of China and its people and this experience is really valuable because we get the angle of this lifestyle from the foreigner, a European person who gets to different universe and has to find his methods there. Draw is partial to martial arts and calligraphy which opens a lot of doors intended for him. He meets a whole lot of interesting people and they teach him their traditions, traditions and way of thinking. When coming to Cina, Mark understands about his future role as a language language instructor but he could be not prepared to find him self in the position of the scholar again. Thankfully, he is optimistic and ready to accept new knowledge and quickly adapts to his new role.

This individual learns new pleasures and uses every possibility to broaden his outlook. Everybody we fulfill in our life course can become each of our teacher if we are mindful of the lessons of the destine and Mark comes after this basic principle and discovers everywhere and from everyone he fulfills. His learners teach him rules of educational program adopted in China.

Their particular shyness and politeness turns into a great amaze for Indicate, who got used to European freedom and liberalism in education. This can be one of the aspects of striking dissimilarities between East and Western cultures. Just after arrival Saltzman is stuck with poor conditions of life in the region where he happens.

Poverty, bureaucracy and poor conditions of life make Europeans think about the situation in Europe in the centre Ages. Communism regime and political approach to China becomes a great surprise for Draw, who spent my youth in a democratic country. The way in which Chinese people perceive Ww2 is also very interesting and it will end up being very interesting for Western viewers. The first thing he learns is usually dealing with closed system and government control, which is available in China and tiawan. And in spite of Changsha includes a reputation of place, there is usually nothing to do, nothing to purchase, the people have no manners, the meals is bad and their language sounds awful, people find positive moments and enjoy all their life.

An additional surprise relates to be much more pleasant (Salzman, 15). Chinese show very much politeness and respect to strangers. Frame of mind to children becomes another great surprise intended for Salzman. Courteous and packed with respect to strangers, Chinese people are extremely strict and demanding for their children.

It takes time for Salzman to get used to such an attitude but his new close friends explain him that this sort of a treatment is usual and even more, that may be the Chinese way. ( Saltzman) Saltzman uses this kind of peculiarity of national personality in order to get fresh experience and penetrate much deeper into Oriental culture. This individual knows two popular Chinese dialects Mandarin and Cantonese and this even increases respect to him. Salzman uses just about every opportunity to learn something new and destiny will help him to satisfy a lot of teachers, or perhaps masters in the way.

He could be lucky to get lessons of Wushu, or martial-art, from one of the very most popular kung fu professionals of the contemporary time. Mark has discovered martial art pertaining to nine years before he got to Cina but just there this individual uncoveres the true essence of the notion. Beneath the guidance of Teacher Griddle he discovers that learning martial arts can be a kind of psychic search and way to find out true interior self.

Do every push as if it were your last, teaches him Master Baking pan and with these terms expresses not simply the substance of Wushu but the extremely essence of Oriental philosophy. (Salzman, 85) Little episodes and situations, which eventually the author, demonstrate readers just how ordinary things can include deep meaning and impact the entire life if the person is ready to accept new possibilities and fresh experiences. That is exactly what occurs with Indicate, for to whom every appointment and every dialogue becomes the sources of new information and useful lessons. He discovers even via fishermen, who quickly acknowledge him his or her friend and inquire him to be and seafood with all of them.

Learning China calligraphy becomes another new experience, which in turn opens fresh perspective pertaining to the author. In the near future he finds out that Chinese language people have very different attitude to writing that Westerners perform. These people can make everything into mastery, and calligraphy for them is much more compared to a way to put down words and phrases into conventional paper. Salzman finds out that calligraphy is a form of art, where a single hieroglyph could mean more than hundred words.

It takes him time to understand the words of his teacher, who have told him that No matter what the quality of brush or perhaps paper you ought to always deal with them like they were precious. (Salzman, 156) The art to enjoy every second of lifestyle and capacity to dedicate yourself to the thing you are carrying out at the moment is the main message his calligraphy teacher wants to go to his European student. Written with great sense of humor, Silk and Iron is an extremely personal bank account of existence of a Traditional western person in strange around. The publication gives a peek of China politics, culture, history, life style and beliefs.

The publication can be interesting for people considering marital arts, Oriental viewpoint and Oriental culture. Options Salzman, Draw. Iron and Silk, Retro, 1987.

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