To give foreigners a cultural taste of the Chinese capital during the Olympics, the Beijing Tourism Administration is organizing a homestay program.
The government body is now inspecting thousands of applications from potential host families and in the end will have up to 1,000 Chinese families hosting foreign visitors this summer.
And Han Rubing and her family is the first one approved for the program.
Living in Anhuili community north of Beijing, Han's family is only a few blocks away from the National Stadium, or Bird’s Nest.
She is an English teacher in Tourism Institute of Beijing Union University, her husband is a lawyer, and her son practices Chinese Wushu.
Han’s family was selected mainly due to their strong English skills and enthusiasm for sports.
I am the kind of person who will watch all the Olympics events on TV all night during the Games. My husband is just like me. I like Liu Xiang.
I think it is a good opportunity for us to take part in the Olympics. My family’s Olympic dream has come true through this very special program.
Han plans to redecorate her home to welcome her guest. But she said there are other things which are of greater significance to help her guest get the most out of his or her visit to Beijing.
It takes only one month, or 40 days to redecorate my home, to make it look new. This is very easy. But I think helping our guest feel at home is much more important. For instance, customs, habits, and cultural differences… we need to learn them as quickly as possible.
Although the Olympic homestay program will be a very short time period, Han vows to cook her best dishes in order to make it a more enjoyable experience for her guest.
[For us Chinese,] eating is very important. So I will take this opportunity to further improve my cooking skills. Making food with stuffing, such as dumplings, wontons and baozi [steamed stuffed buns], is no problem for me. I’m very good at it. I’ll teach them how to make Chinese dumplings. And then they can make it themselves when they go back home.
It’s this cultural taste of China that Han hopes will create a memorable experience for foreigners, just as much as attending the Beijing Olympics.