Phase 3: Interpreting Information

Updated 3 weeks 8 hours ago

In phase 0, I chose my topic, and in phase 1, I thought of questions that would help me to understand my topic. Now in phase three, I will be researching about the activities people in China do to relieve stress before Microcampus and during the 28 days in Xizhou.

Background information from Phase 1 

There are many activities and exercises that Chinese people do in order to relieve stress and maintain wellness socially while by interacting with people or keeping their minds healthy.[3] One of them is Tai Chi, also called Tai Chi Chuan.[3,4,5] Tai chi is an ancient Chinese tradition that was first developed for self-defense but is now practiced as a graceful from exercise and used for stress reduction and a variety of other health conditions.[3,4] It is often described as meditation in movement and promotes serenity through gentle, flowing movements. Tai chi decreases stress, anxiety, and depression.[3,4,5] It improves moods and improves flexibility, balance, and agility.[4]

There are other leisure activities that Chinese people do a lot of outside.[3] Chinese parents would take their children outside and let them play sports and have fun in the sun. [3]They call this sai tai yang, soak in some sun.[3] One of the many activities children play is jianzi, Chinese style hacky sack.[3] It is a sport to not let the sack touch the ground by using feet and other body parts.[3] The sack is made of rubber sole or plastic disk with feathers attached to it, and people can not use their hands.[3] Kite flying is another sport that much young Chinese play.[3,7] This is a traditional sport that Koreans have also played in the past. Ma Jiang or Mahjong is a tile-based game that is sometimes seen in streets or outside with people playing them.[3,6,7] It is usually played by four players and is a game of skills, strategy, calculation and some luck.[3,6,7] Teenagers around the world get a lot of stress. Especially, China is developing faster and faster with more and more stressed teenagers. Chinese students are stress by exams and school homework.[1,2,7]  Sometimes they have classes after school.[1] There are many leisure activities in China that will help teenagers relieve stress and stay healthy in mind and body. [3] 

Stress is beneficial and everybody experiences stress in life. However, stress is not beneficial when it prevents a person from taking care of themselves or their work. There are many ways that the body of a human sends signals when it receives too much stress. Headaches, depression or anxiety are some of the common psychological signs.[8,9] Feeling unfocused, and having trouble in sleeping are also effects of stress.[8, In order to cope with stress, people might drink alcohol, smoke or take drugs.[8,9] The healthy ways to cope with stress is eating plenty if balanced meals.[9] It would help to exercise regularly and get enough sleep.[9] Resting will help you fight with stress.[9] Taking drugs and smoking does not help with stress.[9] Sharing your problems and talking to families and friends will help to relieve stress.[9]

Especially, in Xizhou the hobbies of the people vary in age and interests[10,11] Some common hobbies are Chinese Checkers, Mahjong and dancing.[10,11] Women dance in large groups at night or play badminton.[10] Men in Xizhou smoke, watch television, or exercise.[10] One of the most interesting hobbies of children in Xizhou was playing online games and video games with computers.[10,11] Some children also play badminton in a place called Si Fang Jie.[10,11] There are many young adults and teenagers using their phones for entertainment.[10,11] The oldest game played in Xizhou is Mahjong, and is mostly played by the elder adults. [10,11]

 

Information from 3-to-5s

During the 3-to-5s, I have also found some helpful resources from Mr. Tafel, Ms. Mai, Ms. Bravermen, Mr. Yang and Ms. Wang who helped us a lot. I met Ms. Braverman in the afternoon in day 3, as well as Ms. Wang and Mr. Yang. Ms. Bravermen told me that the Si Fang Jie where young children would be a great place to interview people for my project. Ms. B also told me I could go ask A Ling Jie's son whose age is similar to us. She also replied that I could ask A Ri Jie's daughter who was about in high school. She said temples would be a good place as well as Hai Shi Gong Yuan, which was a place many people go for their leisure activities. According to Ms. Bravermen, the son of the ai who owns the restaurant that makes Xizhou baba is someone I could also get in touch with. Additionally, She gave me some advice that it would be good if I interviewed the elders who usually play Ma Jiang in the streets or other places. I also asked Ms. Wang and Mr. Yang, and Mr. Yang said he was someone I could ask for my research. He also knows well about the leisure activities in XIzhou. There is also a place called Xia Guan which is quite far away from XIzhou which is a big communal space many people meet. Mr. Yang told me the Middle School and High School was somewhere many people play sports together. Ms. Mai also told me the Si Fang Jie is a good place where many people will meet. I was able to talk to her in the afternoon on day 4. Another place was Bao Cheng Fu, the courtyard next to the Linden Common, which is also used as a parking lot during the day. She said in the evening, women dance in the Bao Cheng Fu. Ms. Mai also told me that Mr. Yang was someone that will be very helpful. The temples were places she recommended as well as contacting the store owners and restaurant owners who usually have some time in the afternoons after lunch and before dinner, or maybe after dinner. Mr. Tafel also mentioned Bao Cheng Fu and the women who dance in the evenings. During the 3-to-5s, Mr. Tafel told me it would be better to start with the people near Yang Zuo Ran, like the staffs in Linden Center or the Bao An, guards who help us. The mosques and the temples were places Mr. Tafel introduced, as well as Mr. Huang who leads the prayer in the mosque. He also told me that it would be a good chance for me to find somewhere people rest a lot and spend time, and use that place for my still time. 

Information from Local Contacts

March 13th, 2019, March 25th, 2019

The Zhong sisters run a restaurant in the Si Fang Jie. Ms. Braverman and I went to their sister's restaurant and had a conversation. Later, I went back to talk more about their children. 

  • The Zhong sisters do not have a special hobby in their spare time. 
  • The elder of the sisters has a 16 years old son who goes to a boarding school in Xia Guan, the modern part of Dali.
  • After 8 pm, they have time to watch TV. 
  • They are getting stress because their business is not going well, but they accept it that there are seasons where people come and go a lot. 
  • When they sit down in their restaurant, they see young kids running around the Si Fang Jie
  •  One of the sisters has a son in the first grade of high school. They cannot use their phones in school. He comes back on Saturday afternoon and spends a day with his family. She said her son did not get a lot of stress, because the school gives a lot of time to rest. She said it is very good that his son cannot use his phone. 
  •  Her son plays basketball and runs a lot. She said her son also talks a lot with the ladies. Last year, she was mad because her son broke his glasses while playing basketball and she had to pay more than 800 kuai.
  •  She has some worries about his son because of his grades, but she thinks the worry is too early for right now. 
  •  The two sisters want their children to go out Xizhou and live because Xizhou is too small. 
  •  They also care a lot about their children's friends. 
  •  She said raising children is very difficult because their children do not listen to them when they grow up. 

He Chun Liu is 22 years old and is a local employer in a coffee shop near the Si Fang Jie. Ms. Braverman and I visited the coffee shop. 

  • She does not get any stress. There is not anything to get stress from. 
  • In her spare time, she listens to the music of Taylor Swift. 
  • She also runs or takes a walk around the lake. 
  • She says she runs a lot or plays basketball.
  • Making Coffee is one of her favorite hobbies. 
  • She said for her, stress and hobby has a very important relationship. Whenever she feels stressed, she goes out, which helps her a lot. 
  • Sometimes, she plays majiang with her family. She said it was something good to play for the time to just past. 

March 14th, 2019

Ms. Xun is 66 years old and has lived her whole life in Xizhou. She is now selling some snacks, but before, she was a farmer.

  • When she was a farmer, she did not have any downtime. 
  • She recently changed her business and her stress is about her new business.
  • After 6 pm, she goes home and watches TV.
  • In the past, kids usually came out to the Si Fang Jie, and play, but now after dinner time, the kids go home and watch TV. 

Mr. Yang is a Xizhou baba maker. He is a very hard-working father. 

  • Mr. Yang is really busy.
  • He wakes up at 6:30 in the morning and sends his daughters to school. Then he comes out to the Si Fang Jie and makes Xizhou Baba the whole day. When he goes back to his house in the evening, there is only a little time to watch TV. 
  • He gets stress because he has to support his daughter's tuitions at school, and support his whole family. 
  • He said that most of the parents might have the same type of stress, to support his/her family. 
  • He also said when his daughters get married, he would like to take care of his grandchildren. 
  • Mr. Yang does not have time to spend for himself. 
  • His motivation to live is his daughters and his family.

March 17th, 2019

Mr. Yang plays Ma Jiang. He is 55 years old and has worked as a constructor in Myanmar. 

  • He plays Ma Jiang because after he retired he does not have much to do. 
  • If he does not play Ma Jiang, he will stay home and watch TV.
  • He said many young people smoke and drink alcohol. 
  • It is a way of fighting stress, but it is a tradition in Xizhou to show gratitude and respect. 
  • In Dali, there is a tradition to respect their parents and take care of them.
  • He said all the rules in each village are different, and the rules of Xizhou comes from Si Cuan
  • The elder people also play a dice game and a bamboo stick game. 
  • He does not have any stress, but his worries are his mother, who is old. When he was young, he had a hard life, and he only ran around.
  • Another worry is getting someone for his daughter to get married 
  • When he was young his stress was earning enough money to support his family.
  • He said other people his age also have had the same stress when they were young. 
  • Most of the young people go out of Xizhou and work. 
  • When he worked in Myanmar, he did not have a lot of spare time. Even if he had one, he would just take a nap because his work was really hard. 
  • These days, many young children are sent to pre-schools, and Mr. Yang thinks this will reduce the stress of the grandparents who have to take care of their grandchildren.

March 18th, 2019

Max is the manager of the Linden Common.

  • Max gets pressure when there are lots of guests in Linden Common he has to take care of
  • In his spare time, he watches TV or listens to music, or plays basketball.
  • He also has two cats who play with him a lot.
  • The reason he has cats is that it is cute and able to take care of. 
  • He said a hobby has to be something where can you learn something from. You have to like it and has to be healthy and improve yourself. 

Hua Long is the worker in the bar inside the Linden Center. 

  • In his spare time, he sings or reads books. He likes to sing folk songs or ballad songs.
  • He also owns a cafe shop in Xizhou. 
  • He plays some computer games. He has played League of Legends for 4 years and has recently started to play Player Unknown Battleground. He said in college, he has more time to rest and that is why he likes to play video games.
  • When he was young, he used to play soccer and basketball. 
  • Now, he has to earn money so he does not have a lot of free time. 
  • One of his worries is that staying in Xizhou seems like there is not a specific and clear future of himself. 
  • He said he wants to be a lawyer.

March 19th, 2019

Ms. He works at the China Telecom. She is 23 years old and has a 1-year-old son.

  • In her spare time, she plays with her phone or takes care of her son.
  • She plays Dou Dizhu with her phone. 
  • She gets stress because she has to support her family. 
  • She goes to Karaoke rooms, eat or goes shopping with her friends. 
  • For TV, she watches historical dramas.
  • She used to work outside of Xizhou, and she came back because she felt lonely. 
  • HIs 1-years-old son plays with car toys or toy guns. 
  • She said people get a lot of stress because their parents telling to get married.  

March 20th, 2019

Chen Xue Zhou is the bartender of the bar in Linden Center. 

  • He does not know why he became the bartender
  • In his spare time, he plays video games, listens to music, and walks around
  • He has lived in Xi An, He Nan, Shanghai, and many other places.
  • He has lived in Xizhou for 3 months.
  • He has played video games for 10 years. (Apex and Overwatch) It is because it is exciting and fun.
  • He has some stress, but not because of his work. 
  • He says that why do we care about stress. What we do does not affect the world. We are a small creature in the universe. 
  • If you want something and when you feel happy when you do it, even if it is a small thing, it can be a hobby and is a meaningful thing. 
  • He also dances hip-hop.
  • He says that he is different from Hua Long. Hua Long is very hard-working and needs to earn money for his family and his own. However, he just lives his life and does whatever he wants to do. 
  • He said a good way to not get stressed does not really exist, but he thinks there are ways to be distracted from getting stress. 

March 21st, 2019

Ms. Zhao runs the Old Town Snacks that sells the Tafel Fried Rice. She has two sons.

  • She said she gets stress when her kids do not feel well. Sometimes she gets nervous when her baby runs out of the restaurant. She said the crib Mr. Tafel gave was really helpful. 
  • She said people in Xizhou do not get a lot of stress compared to the people in the large cities. It is because people can wake up at any time they want to and open their shops and restaurants. 
  • People who have children and are students get more stress than others. Young children do not get any stress. 
  • She said she likes to sing and listen to music. His oldest son also listens to English music and watches his phone. 
  • She said a good hobby has to be healthy.
  • She said playing games is a bad hobby. It is because children can get addicted. However, she said children who do not play games tend to be less smart than kids who do. She and her husband had to put strict rules to their children about their phone usage. 
  • She said she sometimes see a whole family at an internet cafe and she thought that was very bad.
  • In high schools, the phones are a requirement, but they need to give it to the school at the start of the day. If they get caught during the week the teachers will dump the phones into a bucket full of water.
  • She thinks kids should exercise a lot.
  • She thinks the most important thing in our age is to study. If you study, there is a future and you can get a job. In the past, strength was important, but now the knowledge and skills is the most important thing in life. As an example, she mentioned jack Ma, also called as Ma Yun. 
  • She said even if you have something you like, the direction is very important. If the thing you like is distracting from getting a stable job, it is not good. It is better if you follow your path you like, and get a stable job. 
  • Using your own talent is very important. However, the celebrities, are not always geniuses. There were people who helped them and they put a lot of effort to succeed.

March 26th, 2019

Ms. Chen works at a coffee shop near the Linden Centre.

  • She sleeps and contacts with her phone during her spare time.
  • She started working in a coffee shop because she wants to open her own shop. 
  • Her stress is making better coffee, and she wants to learn to make desserts and play the guitar.
  • She said that one's dream, work, and school work should be together, and she is doing the same thing.
  • She said that playing video games and using the phone a lot is a waste of time.

Sury, also called Ms. Yang works at the Linden Center lobby. 

  • she came to Xizhou 8 months ago after graduating from College. 
  • In her spare time, she watches TV or goes out to hang out with her friends.
  • She gets stress from her boyfriend.
  • She said when she was growing up, school and studying was the most stressful thing.
  • She said in my age, it is important to have a dream, but must focus on their studying. 
  • A good hobby must make the person rest, gives a chance to make new friends, and also learn something from it.
  • When she was in college, her hobby was playing volleyball. She said it was very fun and she felt accomplishment when she received the ball and contributed to the team. 

Answers to Previous Questions  

1. What is the relationship between hobbies and stress and what is the definition of 'hobby' to the people of Xizhou?
Answer: The people in Xizhou think hobbies help you to deal with stress. They have an important relationship. The hobby is something you like and keeps you healthy. 

2. What might be some reasons why adults in XIzhou might get stress?
Answer: Adults mostly get stress because they need to support their children and parents. They need to earn enough money to pay tuition for their kids and raise their children. 

3. What are some hobbies you have?
Answer: The hobbies vary. The adults watch TV or their phones. They mostly do not have a lot of time. Many elders like to play Ma Jiang.

4. What are some hobbies that teenagers do in their spare time in order to relieve stress?
Answer: In their spare time, students play sports like basketball or badminton. They also run a lot. Some sons of adults like to talk with girls a lot, and some play games. 

5. Is there somewhere that many people in Xizhou go to when they play sports or do leisure activities?
Answer: People do not go to a lot of places, but they usually go to Lake Erhai to walk or play sports at their school. Some women also dance in the evening at the Bao Cheng Fu.

6. What are some traditional hobbies of Xizhou?
Answer: There is not a specific traditional hobby, but many people play Ma Jiang since they are young. 

7. Music helps young teenagers and adults in many ways, especially with stress. Are there any hobbies that are related to music? 
Answer: Many young adults or kids like to listen to music, especially English music and songs. Some of the elders play traditional instruments of Bai. 

8. What are some things that might give pressure to the students in Xizhou?
Answer: The school work and studying are difficult for students. Most of the students live at boarding schools and live away from their home and family. 

9. How much time do adults and young teenagers spend time on sports or hobbies?
Answer: The adults mostly have time after they close their shops around 6 p.m. The students mostly do not have time to spend a lot of time. They usually spend their free time at school after their school work is done.

10. Does the hobbies and relieving stress affect the student's school work, and if so, how do parents deal with the problem? 
Answer: It does not affect a lot to the students, because most of the students live in a boarding school and cannot use their phones. They can focus on their schoolwork. 

For 9 days, I was able to connect with the community and learn a lot about my topic, and also reflect on myself. The information is relevant and helpful for my topic, and also for my life. I have received a lot of information about how the people of Xizhou manage their stress, and hobbies, as well as why they get the stress. However, I have learned some more helpful informations that are not directly relevant to my topic but still helps me, like raising a child and choosing the path I will live. All the information helped me to answer my questions, and other questioned I had in my mind, that I worried a lot when I was in Shanghai. The information and opinions of the people have similarities with my thoughts. The elements that make good hobbies are that they must be healthy, and able to learn something from it. However, some new opinions were about the use of phones and video games. I thought spending some time will be helpful in relieving my stress, but most people thought it was not good for a young teenager to do. As I finished my conversations, more and more questions started to come up, like 'What makes the opinion of the people in hobbies differ from the people back in Shanghai?', and 'What might be some reasons that the level of stress and the types of stress differ from parents and teenagers back in Shanghai?'

I have organized a lot of information I have got from all the mentors of the village who helped me to go deep into my topic. I have started to get similar information, even though the opinions for my topic may vary. Furthermore, I have confidence and learned a lot not only about my own topic but also myself. Now, it is time for me to move on to Phase 4, to prepare for my final product in order to share my experience and knowledge I was able to be given from everyone in the village. 

Sources

1. South China Morning Post. Long hours, too much homework and stressed pupils is there a solution to Hong Kong's education system nightmare? Online. https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/education/article/2133086/long-hours-too-much-homework-and-stressed-pupils-there accessed January 16th

2. Global Times, by Feng Yu. Psychological consulting urge to relieve Chinese teen stress. Online http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1126884.shtml accessed January 17th 

3. Inter Nations. Chinese sports and Leisure Activities. Online https://www.internations.org/china-expats/guide/29464-culture-shopping-

recreation/chinese-sports-and-leisure-activities-17525 accessed January 18th 

4. Mayo Clinic. Tai Chi: a gentle way to fight stress. Online https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/tai-chi/art-20045184 accessed January 18th 

5.  Van's Kitchen, By Christine Coe. 5 Ancient Chinese Tips To Reduce Stress. Online https://www.vanskitchen.com/5-ancient-chinese-tip
s-to-reduce-stress/
 accessed January 18th

6. Wikipedia Mahjong. Online https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahjong accessed January 18th 

7. Microcampus Alumni E, Thomas C. Smoking Habits of Teens in Xizhou, Phase 3: Interpreting Information. Online 
http://www.sasmicrocampus.org/projects/blogs/708/students accessed January 18th

8. WebMD. Is My Stress Level Too High? Online. https://www.webmd.com/balance/stress-management/stress-level-too-high#2 accessed January 20th 

9.  CDC( Center for Disease Control and Prevention). Coping With Stress. Online https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pub/coping_with_stress_tips.html 
accessed January 20th 

10. Microcampus Alumni R, Annie-Marie C. Hobbies Projects in XIzhou, Phase 3 : Interpreting Information.Online 
http://www.sasmicrocampus.org/content/final-product-reporting-and-reflecting-240 accessed January 21st 

11. Microcampus Alumni R, Colin R. Local Hobbies and Games in Xizhou, Phase 3: Interpreting information. Online http://www.sasmic
rocampus.org/projects/blogs/8579/students
 accessed January 21st 

12. Zhong sisters, March 13th, March 25th

13. He Chun Liu, March 13th

14. Mr. Xun, March 14th

15. Mr. Yang(baba maker), March 14th

16. Mr. Yang, March 17th 

17. Max, March 18th

18. Hua Long, March 18th

19. Ms. He, March 19th

20. Chen Xue Zhou, March 20th

21. Ms. Zhao, March 21st, 

22. Ms. Chen, March 26th

23. Sury(Ms. Yang), March 26th

Comments

I'm a 15 years old Korean Boy. I was in Xizhou during my first year in China as part of the W group, Wildifre. I really liked the blue sky as well as the strong sun. Lake Erhai and my 28 days with my 15 other friends is something I miss a lot. It was also an experience that changed my life. I hope the future Microcampus groups will also have a great time in Xizhou. Take a ot of pictures of your friends and the Xizhou community! Enjoy your journey and always help each other.