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Tea: a symbol of friendship between China and Nepal

2013-08-15 10:31:08

(People's Daily Online)


In one popular Chinese legend dating back to more than 2 millennia BC Shennong, the celebrated Emperor of China, was drinking a bowl of boiled water honoring his own decree that his subjects must boil water before drinking it, when a few leaves were blown into his cup from a nearby tree, changing the color of the water. The emperor took a sip of the brew and was pleasantly surprised by its flavor, and with prolonged observation, by its restorative properties.

Whether this legend has any factual basis or not, the value of tea is widely acknowledged in both China and Nepal. This aromatic beverage has served in enhancing the quality of life of individuals and has contributed in the economic prosperity of both countries.

Nepal, like China, is also credited to be one of the countries where tea originated. However written records indicate that tea came to Nepal as a gift from a Chinese emperor to a Rana Prime Minister of Nepal during the nineteenth century. In the years that followed, Tea has become a symbol of friendship between the two countries.

Serving tea is integral to both Nepalese and Chinese culture. The people in Nepal welcome their guests with a cup of tea. It is something that is offered to strangers and friends alike. In China, virtually every dwelling even down to the simplest mud hut has a set of tea implements for brewing a hot pot of tea. These implements are symbols of welcome for visitors and neighbors. Additionally, tea is also an offer of sincere apology, to express gratitude and to connect large families and friends. Hence, Nepal and China share common values when it comes to enjoying tea.

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