Qingdao, was soviel wie die Grüne Insel bedeutet, ist eine Hafenstadt in der Provinz Shandong im Osten der Volksrepublik China. Heute leben und arbeiten rund 7 Millionen Menschen in Qingdao. Nicht nur der rapide Bevölkerungsanstieg, sondern auch das enorme Wirtschaftswachstum in den letzten Jahren macht Qingdao zu einer der wichtigsten Handelsmetropolen an der Ostküste Chinas.
Von 1898 bis 1919 gehörte die Stadt als Kolonie zum Deutschen Reich welcher der Grund für den charakteristisch deutschen Baustiel im Westen der Stadt ist. Weltweit bekannt ist die Küstenmetropole für ihr Bier namens Tsingtao, das seinen Ursprung in der deutschen Kolonialzeit hatte. Zudem wurden 2008 vor der Küste Qingdaos die Segelwettbewerbe der Olympischen Sommerspiele von Peking ausgetragen was zu dem westlichen Charakter der Stadt beigetragen hat.
Wirtschaftlich entwickelte sich Qingdao in den letzten Jahren sehr schnell. Als Tiefseehafen ist Qingdao bedeutend für die ölverarbeitende Industrie und den Güterverkehr der gesamten Halbinsel Shandong. Der Hafen der Stadt ist der drittgrößte Hafen Chinas und der achtgrößte der ganzen Welt. Er gilt als Chinas wichtigste Anlage zur Aufnahme von Erdöl und ist der größte Hafen für Eisenerzimporte. Als zweitwichtigster Hafen für den Außenhandel des Landes soll sogar in der Zukunft den bisherigen Spitzenreiter Shanghai ablösen und größter Hafen der Welt werden.
Qingdao ist eine sehr westlich geprägte Stadt in welcher eine Vielzahl von europäischen und amerikanischen Unternehmen ansässig sind, welches zu einer zunehmenden Modernisierung der Stadt führt. Qingdao ist jedodoch durch seine alte Geschichte und die zunehmende Industrialisirung eine sehr vielseitige Stadt und kann Besuchern und Touristen ein hohes Maß an chinesisch kulturellen sowie als auch sehr moderne Einblicke bieten. Neben dem sehr international geprägten Arbeitsumfeld kann man in Qingdao seine Freizeit wunderbar in einem der vielen kleinen Straßencaffee’s oder Restaurants verbringen oder auch einen der 7 verschiedenen Strände besuchen. Auch im Nachtleben steht Qingdao in nichts nach und kann mit anderen chinesischen Metropolen sehr gut mithalten. Es gibt eine Vielzahl an Bars, Restaurants und Nachtclubs in denen Einheimische mit Ausländern feiern und eine gute Zeit genießen.
In jeglicher Hinsicht ist Qingdao eine sehr unterhaltsame, interessante und sehr schöne Stadt die man während eines China Aufenthaltes auf jeden Fall mal besucht haben sollte.
Written by Anna Theves | Intern at InternChina
No matter which area you live in China, there will always be fantastic places to explore nearby. This month, I visited Laoshan 嶗山, a beautiful mountain range around one hour from Qingdao, with a group of friends from InternChina. We organised a minibus to take us straight from the main city centre to the outskirts of the mountain area. With a very eager bus driver, we bought our tickets and took the coach up to the mountains followed by a cable car. There were hundreds of Chinese tourists as well as a few western ones; Laoshan is rated highly as one of the best scenic areas in Shandong province.
Already incredibly high up, there was a set of stairs to the highest viewing point. Getting up to the top was the hardest part of the day. If you are not active/ fit (like me) this is quite a task; I almost gave up at one point but the morale and support from my friends pushed me all the way up to the peak. But it’s like anything in life; you have to put the work in to reap the rewards. After an hour of several breaks and my mini heart attacks, we had made it…
What a sight! Mount Lao is the highest coastal mountain in China and the second tallest mountain in Shandong, with the highest peak (Jufeng) reaching 1,132.7 meters. It also has an ancient history, as it is known as one of the birthplaces of Taoism. It is the place where the Complete Perfection School of Taoism was developed. On reflection you can see why this area has such a rich background with its breathtaking views and serenity.
We were blessed with beautiful weather and the views were spectacular, it really made you realise how big the world is. There was also an amazing wooden bridge overlooking the mountain and all the flowers at the top were in bloom.
Fortunately, the peak doubled up as the best picnic location you could ask for, but we were careful not to drop any crisps as they would be scattered around 100 meters below. And, after all that climbing – I was extremely careful with my Chinese style Pringles. Walking down the thousands of stairs was at least four times as quick. We got the coach back at around 4pm and we all felt exhausted but happy. My friends and I then had a delicious Chinese meal for dinner and went to bed – a perfect day. It’s great to do an internship with Intern China as these types of activities and events are always organised. If you want to take a trip away to from the city, or want to learn a new skill there is always something for everyone. I recommend anyone who comes to Qingdao or the other cities to go and visit something similar to Mount Lao and enjoy the breathtaking views.
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Qingdao has a history of more than 120 years, and the museum is as a great place to learn more about the history of the city. As last week’s InternChina event, we decided to visit Qingdao Municipal Museum.
The museum has exhibitions about several different aspects of Qingdao, and the themes of these exhibition includes Qingdao local history, ancient coins, ceramics in Ming and Qing dynasties and Qingdao local folk customs.
We started with the history of Qingdao exhibition. Although Qingdao city has only existed for about 120 years, there were some people who lived in this area around 6000 years ago. Unearthed vessels and tools were exhibited to display how ancient people lived their lives. There are some collections of models that shows the historical stories vividly, for example, the wars that occurred in Qingdao and the scenery in Qingdao hundreds of years ago.
Afterwards, we continued our visit with the coins and ceramics exhibitions. The oldest ‘coin’ on the exhibition looked like a knife with a hole at one end, people used the hole to collect and carry the coins on strings. Also, there were lots of ceramics there. They were made in different dynasties, and therefore styles and techniques used were totally different.
After that, we experienced a traditional folk custom called woodcut painting. This kind of painting is mainly made for Chinese New Year celebration. Traditionally, the paintings are about characters in Chinese myths. They are believed to be able to protect or attract fortunes for the family. To make this kind of painting, the wood should be cut into moulds according to the picture you want to paint. The mould is then coloured and used to print the picture onto paper. In the museum, they had some moulds already and we just did the painting part by ourselves. We followed the steps taught by the ‘teacher’ in the museum; eventually, we made our own pictures successfully.
We experienced lots of ancient Chinese stuff during this visit and it was a great opportunity to get ‘closer’ to Qingdao.
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Last Friday, for our weekly event, interns in Qingdao watched Peking Opera at the Qingdao Grand Theatre. Actually, for me, although a Chinese from Qingdao, it was my first time to watch live Peking Opera, and it was special.
Peking Opera, also known as Beijing Opera, is called 京剧(jing ju) in Chinese. It is a traditional Chinese theatre and has a history of more than 200 years. It is an art form that combines music, vocal performance, mime, dance and acrobatics. The works of Peking Opera are mainly based on Chinese history and folklore.
The performance we watched that night was called ‘遇皇后打龙袍’, literally meaning meeting the queen and hitting the dragon robe. The story is from a Chinese classic literature. Bao Zheng is one of the most well-known ancient Chinese government offical in the history, and he met an old lady on his way back to Beijing. The old lady claimed herself as the mother of the emperor and had been set up by others. After verifying the old lady was the queen, Bao helped her to get back to Beijing and she blamed the emperor for all the misery she suffered. She ordered Bao to punish the emperor and Bao hit the dragon robe instead of hiting the emperor to save himself from being punished.
When the opera started, we were amazed by the unique sound made by the musical instruments, as they are quite different from what we heard from an orchestra. The songs have much more variations with stronger beats. They were in perfect cooperation with the singing of the players. Also the costumes the players wore were gorgeous as they have several colours and pattern on each one of them. The players also ‘told’ the story by their movement, for example, a walk around the stage would mean they took a long trip to somewhere. Even though it was kind of hard for us to get used to the music and to follow the story, we are glad that we decided to join the event!
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When you live in Qingdao, you may find the people, especially some senior citizens, speak a ‘different language’ from Mandarin, and that is the dialect of Qingdao. For example, when you go out for dinner with your friend who is a Qingdaoren, he or she would make a toast with the word ‘哈 (ha)’. Well, it means ‘drink’ in Qingdao, different from the word ‘喝 (he)’ in Mandarin.
Dialect in Qingdao is relatively complicated, as it is a mixture of several dialects around Qingdao. Meanwhile, there are even some differences between districts that are close to each other. However, people here can still communicate without difficulties.
Here are some words that are only used in Qingdao and you can use them in your daily life.
In Mandarin, boys and girls are called 小男孩 (xiao nan hai) and 小女孩 (xiao nü hai) respectively. While boys are called ‘小扫儿 (xiao sao er)’ and girls are called ‘小嫚儿 (xiao man er)’ in Qingdao dialect. The word ‘小嫚儿’ was introduced from German word ‘dame’, which means lady, as Qingdao has a close relationship with Germany. Another word from German is 古力 (gu li), “Gulli” in German, which is the word for drain cover.
When something is broken, in Mandarin it is 损坏(sun huai), but in Qingdao you can say it is 踢蹬 (ti deng) What is more, if you want to have it repaired, you can say I want it 修理 (xiu li) in Mandarin, or 扎箍 (zha gu) in Qingdao dialect instead. So next time, if you have something broken in your apartment and want to get someone repair it, you can try using these two words.
Another phrase of dialect that may interest you would be 哈啤酒, 吃嘎啦 (ha pi jiu, chi ga la). In Mandarin it is 喝啤酒, 吃蛤蜊 (he pi jiu, chi ge li), and it means drinking beer and eating clam. Qingdao is famous for Tsingtao beer and the seafood clam. You can see lots of people drink beer and eat seafood in the restaurant, especially in the summer. When going to restaurant in Qingdao, you would hear the phrase all around. Now you can give it a try to order it in perfect Qingdao dialect during your time in China.
If you would like to learn more about the Qingdao dialect, apply for an internship now!