By Gabe Cheng
Special to AsAmNews
“Do you know how to count to ten on one hand in Chinese?” my friend asked as we waited for the next round of pub trivia. We were at the bar with other work friends during our bi-weekly trivia team up and the conversation had drifted to differences in culture. My friend is a Chinese citizen in the United States on a work visa and I’m an American born Chinese (or ABC as most abbreviate). When we started working together I gave her standing orders to share anything she thought I should know about Chinese culture. So when I told her I didn’t know how to count to ten on one hand, she lit up and volunteered to show the whole table.
One through five are, as you might’ve guessed, not dissimilar from the western style. But the gestures for six through ten, which she demonstrated in a fast and fluid flourish of her fingers, were completely new to my co-workers and I. “You’ve never seen that?” she asked me, “it’s very common for Chinese people to do.”
I’m first generation half Chinese but I never went to Chinese school.