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"In China we invite new friends to our home and cook for them"

"In China we invite new friends to our home and cook for them"

Photographer:Fotograaf: Adèle Monod

Home Sweet Home

Hu Siqi, but everybody calls him Roy, (22, Chinese), master’s student International Law/ M2: 20/ Rent: 200 euros/ Area : Statenkwartier

Friday, 4 o’clock, Hu Siqi looks at the planes from his window. After studying law in China, Hu Siqi choose the Netherlands to pursue International Law. Instead of a big city where the people in the streets look at their phones all the time, he now lives in one where “I can be everywhere in 5 to 10 minutes and people are always smiling at me in the streets”.

Yes, life in Maastricht is very different from the life he had in the province of Hubei. “There are a lot of people in China, that’s why we have to sacrifice personal interest for the greater good.” In that sense, “teachers weren’t really interested in how you digest the informationwhich meant no tutorials, and no solidarity between students.

Nevertheless, Hu Siqi doesn’t prefer one way or the other. In China, the climate taught him to study hard and alone whereas “here, the studies are very strict and very demanding, but tutors are nice and my fellow students are very friendly.” Every day, he gets up at 7 AM and goes straight to the library, where he stays until closing time. Which is a little lazy for him, since, in the Three Gorges University (Yichang), he used to wake up at 5:30 and start school at 6 o’clock.

But something hasn’t change: Hu Siqi has always had many hobbies. He has a very wide collection of movies - “but not Chinese” he specifies - giving the impression that movies were a cope-out for him. Hu Siqi seems to have seen everything: from all the Hepburn movies to Harry Potter, but also 12 Angry Men and The Sound of Music. Hu Siqi plays the trumpet, both classical and jazz, and he would like to find people to jam with. Indeed, Hu Siqi has also a great sense of sharing. He would like to invite his friends over at his place: “It’s what we do in China when we just made friends; we invite them to our home and cook for them”.

Adèle Monod



2019-05-28: Rita
very nice article!

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