Fish (or to be more specific – carp), potato salad and Christmas tree with presents underneath. That is what Czech Christmas looks like. But how do people celebrate Christmas in China? And how strange may the Czech Christmas traditions sound to a Chinese? We asked the lovely Wen Cai, who works at ŠKODA AUTO’s product marketing.
Wen, as a Chinese, what does Christmas mean to you? Do you know where you’re going to celebrate it this year?
In China Christmas is not an official holiday, so the Christmas decorations you see in the shopping malls across China are more of a Western influence. However, there’s the Christmas sale at the time, so going shopping really pays off. Young people use the Christmas time for themed parties. Personally, I’m going to celebrate this Christmas in the Czech Republic and it will be my first experience with local traditions, which I’m looking forward to a lot.
Is there anything like Christmas in China?
The most important holiday when the whole family gets together is the Chinese New Year, which usually falls on the end of January and beginning of February.
How do you like the pre-Christmas atmosphere in our company?
Christmas atmosphere in ŠKODA is amazing. I remember last year there was a Christmas tree at the front desk and some colleagues decorated offices with garlands and other decorations. Everyone was in a Christmas mood, which was really nice.
How did you celebrate Christmas with your colleagues last year?
Since I was a part of the Trainee programme at the time, I was given the unique opportunity to celebrate Christmas twice – once with the other trainees, and then with my colleagues from product marketing.
However, I participated on organizing a Hawaian-style trainee party. We put on shorts, beach dresses and flip-flops and there was plenty of flowers and cocktails and we had a really fun time. With the colleagues from marketing we had a celebration at the ŠKODA museum, everyone got a little present and the whole event was very pleasant and well organized.
Do you like some of the Czech Christmas traditions?
I haven’t experienced that many yet, but I like to think back on Christmas markets that we visited with my colleagues on the past St.Nicholas day. Hot wine and the atmosphere in general were just amazing there.
You are currently on an exchange programme in Germany. Do you see a difference between the Czech and German Christmas holidays?
In Germany Christmas is much more religious than in the Czech Republic. People traditionally go to church there. However, many things are very similar, including the Christmas desserts, markets, family gatherings and so on.
How about you and winter sports?
I enjoy doing winter sports. ŠKODA puts up an ice-rink in Mladá Boleslav every year, which is superb. My trainee friends also organized a skying trip in February, unfortunately, I couldn’t come because I was just visiting my parents in China. However, I’m looking forward to all similar events this year.
Do you have an idea for Christmas presents?
I appreciate Christmas presents based on the sincerity which they are presented with, not according to their price. Even the smallest thing can make one very happy. So I’m looking forward to any present. As far as I’m concerned, I want to get a piano for myself, because I’ve been playing since I was little and I haven’t had the chance to buy one here in the Czech Republic yet.
Wen Cai comes from China, yet she is anything but new in Europe. As part of the CEMS programme she studied in Vienna and Dublin and a year and a half ago she enrolled to the Trainee programme at ŠKODA AUTO. During the year-long Trainee programme she tried different positions and departments before settling down in the product marketing department. At the moment she is conducting a foreign internship at Audi in Germany.
Are you attracted by international environment and experience from various departments? Do not hesitate and apply for our Trainee programme.