The Great Wall: the spine of the Chinese people

In exchange for a postcard from Denmark for hiChinese walls daughter’s collection, my Chinese Postcrossing friend sent me one from China. It features the Great Wall, which is probably one of the most well-known symbols of China and of the Chinese people. My friend wrote on the back of the card:

This card shows the Great Wall, we always say that “It is the spine of the whole Chinese people”. Chairman Mao also says: “He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man”. So, just find a chance to climb up it!

Although symbols can be easily created and disappear quickly again, the Great Wall has been around for a while. How do you think the Great Wall symbolizes Chinese culture?


About Marian van Bakel

I graduated in International Business Communication at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. After my studies I was a Visiting Study Fellow at University of Oxford where I conducted a research on the adjustment of Dutch diplomats and their partners in London. In February 2012 I successfully defended my PhD thesis ‘In Touch with the Dutch’, in which I put expatriates in touch with a Dutch host to examine the effect of this contact on the success of the international assignment. During my PhD research I also worked as in house communication consultant at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. I am currently a postdoc at the Department of Leadership and Corporate Strategy at the University of Southern Denmark ( Since 2004 I have done extensive voluntary work in the intercultural field for the Young Society of Intercultural Education, Training and Research (Young SIETAR). One of my projects was to co-edit and co-author A Suitcase Full of Discoveries (2008), an intercultural storybook for children.
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