n Italian postgrad student has become a star on the Chinese internet following a graduation speech at Shanghai’s East China Normal University in which he spoke about the incredible healing properties of hot water.
In his speech, Carlo declared that over his four years in China, he has gained a deep understanding of Chinese culture, including one of its most important pillars. He said that anytime he was feeling unwell — no matter what part of his body — his Chinese classmates would invariably recommend that he drink more hot water.
“Fever? Drink hot water. Stomach ache? Drink hot water. Too much stress? Again, drink hot water,” he said, imitating his Chinese peers.
“Now, I’ve come to find that China’s hot water is absolutely amazing!”
“Young man, after so much speaking, your throat must be sore. Drink some hot water,” playfully commented one Weibo user after watching the speech.
Hot water is, of course, the beverage around which Chinese society functions, served everywhere from hole-in-the-wall restaurants to the annual legislative meetings inside the Great Hall of the People. Some say that its popularity stems from traditional Chinese medicine, which recommends hot water as a kind of cure-all for kick-starting your digestive system and regulating your all-important blood flow.
Hot water is even supposed to help with hormonal issues, such as cramps during a woman’s menstrual cycle — although saying “drink some hot water” isn’t necessarily the right way to console your girlfriend during these times.
However, the healing properties of this “all-powerful” traditional beverage are not taken as the gospel truth by all. With the growing popularity of bubble and milk tea in China, it seems that hot water isn’t always the most desired remedy when it comes to the intense heat of the Chinese summertime.