712: Magical Wei Chi

Entry Number:   712

Age Group:             Middle                                            Word Count – 719

Title:                       Magical Wei Chi


I first arrived in China when I was about 7 years old. Although my ancestors are all Chinese, to me every piece of land in China was new. I didn’t even know who Mao Zedong was. Still I didn’t have even a tiny bit of interest in anything, nothing could replace New Zealand. If you had ask me “What is your best experience in China?” then, I would probably have said “Are you kidding me?”

Things started to change when I learnt Wei Chi with Mr. Cai, I was led into a mysterious but magical world. I was first forced to get tutored in Chinese after my mum looked at the grade of my first Chinese test. Mr. Cai then became my tutor. I introduced myself, he smiled at me as a response. In that smile I saw eruditeness and peace. During class I caught sight of a Wei Chi game going on in the other room. My eyes brightened up. Mr. Cai’s vision was strong but gentle, it went right through my eyes into my mind, identifying my thoughts.  “I am willing to teach her Wei Chi” he said, as he spoke to my mum after class.

I lost in my first Wei Chi game but I ‘won’ an irreplaceable prize . During the first three months, Mr. Cai only taught me the rules and some techniques in Wei Chi. Then one day he wanted me to have an official game with one of his students. I took this game as a chance to show my progress. I definitely underestimated my challenger. Although it was my first game, I did quite a good job in the beginning. I always thought that the board was a battle field and the main thing to do was to kill enemies . Still, I didn’t notice that I was soon led into a big trap. A big part of my army was surrounded by the enemy’s pieces.  Just then my army got gobbled up by my challenger and I lost badly. Mr. Cai didn’t look surprised, he calmly reflected with me after the game. I think this chance was a precious prize I ‘won’ from losing  the game. He said

“Lara, I know you’re very passionate and hard-working, but in Wei Chi it is a little different.  There is an element you are still missing to be successful.”

He paused and looked at me. Then he said

“It is the view point you use. Sometimes you are too focused on only a few pieces, you narrow down your eye-sight and forget the other parts of the board. You need to look at the whole picture, the big picture. Viewing the wider solution is the spirit of Wei Chi. Lara you are clever, you need to make big plans.”

Mr. Cai’s statement that day made me learn a new part of Chinese spirit. I was inspired to study  more about the history of Wei Chi in the following years Wei Chi was already invented when China first had words to record history. So the spirit of it was decided by the ancestors of Chinese people. Throughout the history, this spirit of Wei Chi also turned into a marked quality of the Chinese. Many successful Emperors win battles because of knowing how to use this distance perspective. The philosophies from Confucius and Lao Zi show the importance of using a wide eye-sight, too. Even the government in China uses this quality, they now are already looking into the far future to keep the fast development of our country.

Although I have heard many bad complements about China, I now am very proud to be a descendant of Dragon. There is no doubt that learning Wei Chi is my favorite experience. Not only because it is fun but also because how it made me see many of the bright sides of my motherland China’s culture. It made me rephrase my identity and proudly add in the word “Chinese”.  I now call myself the ‘Chinese Kiwi Girl’. I have  changed from a western party girl into a calm Chinese girl. The history and cultures of China are way too much for me to understand.  In the future I would definitely like to go deeper into China’s history, to feel the spirit of this ancient country, China.


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