What if I told you he’s the President of the country with the World’s largest economy? On Tuesday 8th October 2014, the World Bank announced that China has overtaken the US as the world’s largest economy. The President of China’s name is Xi Jinping. He is China’s Head of State, although this is mainly a ceremonial role.
Can you imagine not knowing Barack Obama’s name or what he looked like? Or Queen Elizabeth II, if we’re pointing out that the President of China’s role is mainly ceremonial? President Xi’s invisibility in the west underlines just how little most of us know about China. Did you know, for example, that China had a female President, Song Qingling, between 1968 and 1972?
I asked the question in the title of this blog post to a group of around 10 foreign language teachers and no-one knew the answer. I’m not knocking them, because not so long ago I wouldn’t have known either. My point is that these were highly educated people who, by definition, are open to other countries and cultures. If they don’t know the answer to the question above, who does?
I started Little Dragons because I wanted to shed light on the mysterious language and culture of China, this powerful land far, far away. As a country, with China in the economic driving seat, we in the UK need to be able to relate to the Chinese in business and in politics on their terms, in their language. There has never been a more important time for people of all ages to learn Mandarin and to lift the lid on a fascinating and incredibly rich culture, which is little understood in the west.
If you or your children would like to find out more, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.