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Volunteer Abroad in China

Dec 14, 2007
Are you thinking of volunteering in China ? To volunteer in China is one of the top volunteering destinations in the world. The economic boom combined with the ancient Chinese culture is a great pull for volunteers from around the world.

Chinese civilization is one of the worlds oldest continuous civilizations. It has the world's longest continuously used written language system, and the source of such major inventions as what the British scholar and biochemist Joseph Needham called the Four Great Inventions of Ancient China: paper, the compass, gunpowder, and printing.

Most languages in China belong to the Sino-Tibetan language family, spoken by 29 ethnicities. There are also several major dialects within the Chinese language itself. The most spoken dialects are Mandarin which is spoken by over 70% of the population, Shanghainese, Cantonese, Min, Xiang, Gan, and Hakka.

Taoism is an indigenous religion of China and is traditionally traced to the composition of The Book of Tao and Its Virtues. The philosophy of Taoism is centered on "the way"; an understanding of which can be likened to recognizing the true nature of the universe. Taoism in its organized form is also considered a folk religion of China.

Buddhism was introduced from South and Central Asia during the Han dynasty and became very popular among Chinese of all walks of life, embraced particularly by commoners, and sponsored by emperors in certain dynasties. Buddhism is the largest organized faith in China and the country has the most Buddhist adherents in the world, followed by Japan. Many Chinese, however, identify themselves as both Taoist and Buddhist at the same time.

Ancestor worship is a major religious theme shared among all Chinese religions. Traditional Chinese culture, Taoism, Confucianism, and Chinese Buddhism all value filial piety as a top virtue, and the act is a continued display of piety and respect towards departed ancestors. The Chinese generally offer prayers and food for the ancestors, light incense and candles, and burn offerings of Joss paper. These activities are typically conducted at the site of ancestral graves or tombs, at an ancestral temple, or at a household shrine.

To volunteer in China on a short term volunteer vacation, longer term or on a gap year break is a great experience! It will give you a chance to make an important contribution to the people of China, and to gain an in depth experience of the country and its culture that will stay with you the rest of your life.

Most volunteer programs are based in Beijing or Shanghai. These two great cities are a very attractive place to stay whilst doing your project work. Both Beijing and Shanghai are not cheap destinations like other places in Asia so keep this in mind as it will be difficult to get very cheap placements in these cities.

Besides the two great cities there are several smaller cities and rural China where you can join a volunteer project. Wether it is in a city or in rural areas volunteering in China is great! Mostly you will be teaching English or taking care of children in various projects such as schools, orphanages and projects for disabled children.

The language barrier can be a problem especially when you start at a project so try to learn a bit of Mandarin Chinese before you go which will make your stay much more enriching.
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For more info click here Volunteer in China or Volunteering in China
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