Maria Holland

同学们 – Classmates

In Uncategorized on December 12, 2009 at 12:23 am

Today didn’t start until 10:30, which was glorious.  I have had to be somewhere at 8:00 or earlier everyday for the last two weeks and the upcoming week or so isn’t looking promising either, so I relished the chance to sleep in. 

At 11:30, I met my classmates for lunch in celebration of our day off.  I like the camaraderie within classes here, because it’s largely missing in America.  More accurately, it was largely missing in my college experience until junior year of ME classes.  There’s definitely a sort of camaraderie that was born in our many hours spent in computer labs dealing with various computer programs, insane systems of equations, and professors’ impossible demands, but it rarely spilled over to social interaction.  The one night it did – the only time I’ve been to a bar in the US – is one of my best memories of junior year.  Unfortunately, then I left the country . . .

Anyway, we went to a German (?) restaurant called Golden Hans.  For 33 kuai ($5), we had an all-you-can-eat lunch accompanied by all-you-can-drink, locally-brewed beer.  With that in mind, I think it’s a restaurant I would enjoy more if I liked beer . . . The main premise is remotely similar to Fogo de Chao in that servers come around with large skewers of meat, but the quality is far far far below Fogo.  It was 还可以 (acceptable, but not great). 

Afterwards Aleid, Eva, and I went exploring ZhongShan Lu a little bit.  Eva returns to America next week, so I’m trying to learn all she knows about Xiamen.  Today, this consisted of her showing us a DVD shop.  It’s in a small alley off the road next to ZhongShan; it looks like a tea shop, but if you open the secret door you enter the DVD shop.  Yeah, it’s that sketchy. 

I spent this evening doing some internet research on the Church in China.  I’m getting more and more interested in this topic as I realize how little I know about the situation and, even more so, how little my expectations have matched my experiences.  One of the funny/cool/humbling/exciting/fortunate things about being Catholic is that, no matter what you’re interested in, someone else wrote about a few centuries ago.  How many times have I made some ‘discovery’ or had some deep revelation, only to discover an apostolic letter written in the 1400’s? 

So there’s really no lack of information out there (and thanks to my proxy, I can even access most of it).  Here are some things I learned today:

  • Xiamen’s Catholic population is approximately 0.2%.  This can be compared to Minnesota’s 25% or Oklahoma’s 9% (which is the third-lowest in the States)
  • Pope Pius wrote three apostolic letters to China in the 40’s and 50’s.
  • The text of the first one is only available in Latin, Italian, and Chinese.
  • The Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association doesn’t acknowledge anything from the Vatican since the split – including the dogma of the Assumption (but what about the Mass I went to this week??), recent canonizations, or Vatican II (although they do celebrate the new Mass)
  • In 1973, the second Saturday of May (the day before Mothers’ Day) was named as the Feast of Our Lady of China.

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