We’re going to Zhengzhou!

 So, Anna and I have been accepted to teach English to college students at Henan College of Education in Zhengzhou, China.  I know what you are thinking–what is a Zhengzhou?  Well, after a little research, I have come to know Zhengzhou as a quaint little town in rural Henan province.  In fact, it is the capital city of the most populous (albeit still very rural) province in China.  The population estimates for Zhengzhou are all over the place, the most conservative of which place it about twice the size of Chicago and the most liberal of which place it at about the size of New York City.

Zhengzhou is most known because of its central location in China, serving as a middle point for cross country train rides.  This should make domestic travel fairly comfortable.

 Many Chinese–particularly those from larger metropolitan areas like Beijing and Shanghai–regard Henan province as the poor, agricultural China of yesteryear.

Nearby Kaifeng, circa 1910

Zhengzhou in the 1980s

In many parts of the province, they are correct in their perception that people in Henan province participate in the primary sector economy.  This perception has a lot of staying power due to Henan’s reputation as China’s breadbasket.  Henan is the largest producer of wheat and sesame in China, and also produces a great deal of rice, corn, cattle, and poultry.

Henan, in recent years, has suffered from drought

Perhaps, at one point, Zhengzhou itself looked similar to these pictures, and its capital status today was a product of its being a convenient stop along the Yellow River for farmers to sell their goods.  Nevertheless, one would be hard-pressed to accuse present day Zhengzhou of being stuck in the primary sector.  In recent years, Nissan, Walmart, and various other big names have set up shop in Zhengzhou.  Today, the city has universities, nightclubs, and enterprising entrepreneurs (for a funny and insightful blog post about this, read Ross Katz’ thoughts on the entrepreneurial spirit of the Chinese individual) all throughout the city.

Still, some things are hard to change, while others were never meant to. Zhengzhou, 2008
We are really excited about our move to China, and cannot wait to hear more about the school, the city, the province, and the country!  We hope to update our blog whenever we hear more!

About willandannainchina

We are two kids from Mobile, Alabama who thought it would be interesting to live in China for a year. This is a first person account of our adventure!
This entry was posted in Appalachians Abroad, Marshall University, Teaching, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to We’re going to Zhengzhou!

  1. Dree and Ryan says:

    We are a couple from Chicago who JUST decided to take our placement there too, with Marshall University! It’s crazy, I just googled the school to find out more info, and your blog popped up! We should keep in touch this summer, shoot us an e-mail some time.
    Dree- lildreebie@gmail.com
    Ryan- ryanblanchard24@gmail.com

  2. Of course you’re not alone! They’re a plenty of laowai in Zhengzhou, you’ve just got to know where to find us 🙂 Try Jing Liu Lu or http://www.gozhengzhou.weebly.com.

    Good luck in Zhengzhou, and please keep us posted on how you’re getting on through your blog, it’s a great read!

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