Erguotou makes me understand Beijing better
Editor’s note: This year marks the 40th anniversary of China’s reform and opening-up, and huge changes have been made in Beijing, capital of China, over the past 40 years. We have invited 40 foreign experts to participate in a series of interviews named “New Era, New Insight” jointly hosted by GMW.cn（The official website of Guangming Daily） and the Information Office of Beijing Municipality and share their “Beijing Stories”. The following is the script of the interview with Lewis Aschalew, Chief Representative of Ethiopian Shipping Lines.
Lewis Aschalew,Chief Representative of Ethiopian Shipping Lines (Photo source: Guangming Online)
My name is Lewis Aschalew, I'm from Ethiopia. Up to now, I have been in China for 30 years. Now I feel that I have completely adapted to the city's style and culture.
I first drank Beijing Erguotou in 1990s. I couldn't stand its taste at all. But as time goes by, I get used to that taste. Now I can drink about 0.3 kg of Erguotou. We don't drink Erguotou for getting drunk, but for promoting communication.
From family to business,we can talk about different topics and negotiate at the table while drinking. On the other hand, if there are some conflicts or disagreeable things between family members or friends,they can also solve the problems through drinking.
We share our true feelings with people. Someone would drink Erguotou with you if he likes you. That's the culture I learnt in Beijing. The way of drinking here is different from that in my country. We eat up meals first. And then we drink wine at another table.
However, in China, before eating, people drink a round first, then the second and third. After that, people will continue drinking while they eat. It’s the custom in China. On the other hand, China has very good etiquette rules, regarding table manners, and seating arrangement.
Therefore, if we talk about business and solve problems at the table, it shows mutual respect. The arrangement depends on age and other factors, and mutual respect is very important.
The price of Beijing Erguotou had once been pretty low, and there used to be only one type. At that time, it was just two yuan. As Beijing develops fast economically and in various other respects,
Erguotou also has changed a lot to meet ordinary people's changing taste and requirements, including not only its package, but also its mouthfeel. So as the city develops and people's economic capability improves,
Erguotou also improves and changes its taste. Beijing is changing very fast now. Beijing as a city is the biggest cultural center in the world. I really love Beijing very very much. I want to live all my life in Beijing. I wish to live in Beijing my whole life.[ Editor: Zhang Zhou ]