American Dreams in China
American Dreams in China
Post by Eva  

In my constant Sisyphean pursuit of trying to understand China and Chinese culture (中国文化 ZhōngGuó WénHuà) better, I’ve recently watched the movie American Dreams in China. Yes, there’s the American dream, but there’s also the Chinese dream, a concept recently introduced by the new Chinese leadership. Strolling around the streets of China you will thus find Read More…

How to: Start Speaking Chinese and Get Going
speaking Chinese
Post by Eva  

No matter what your starting point is, a university student 大学生 (DàXuéShēng), self-learner 自学 (ZìXué), or a devoted spouse of a Chinese native, get ready for some awkwardness 尴尬 (GānGà). Your first Chinese syllables uttered for the audience of at least “you + 1” (the mirror doesn’t count), will most probably turn out to be a Read More…

Shanghai, baby
Shanghai's skyline
Post by Eva  

My friends and family often ask me – still, after all these years – how could I describe China (this question is second only to: when are you coming back?). I’ve given up a long time ago on nailing down the whole country, but I can give my two cents on describing Shanghai. Shanghai 上海 Read More…

The Faces of China: The Goddess
Chi-ling
Post by Eva  

Meet the famous actress, model (模特 MóTè), host – the goddess,  林志玲 (Lín ZhìLíng). Chances are that if a tall, slender, shy-looking beauty is staring at you from a nearby jumbo poster, you are most probably facing Ling Chi-ling. Born in Taiwan, Taibei in 1974, Chi-ling was later on educated in Toronto (多伦多 DuōLúnDuō), where Read More…

Knockoffs Galore
fake phones
Post by Eva  

Living in China or studying Chinese you must’ve heard this word knocking about:山寨  (ShānZhài), which originally means ‘stronghold’ and is used to describe a mountain village with a defence wall. This word also signifies a remote, god-forsaken area populated by poor people, kind of like the American Wild West (西大荒 Xī DàHuang), also a port Read More…

DianPing: One for You, One for Me
Dian Ping Group Purchase App
Post by Eva  

Ever heard of group purchase (团购 TuánGòu)?  If you’ve been exposed to Chinese culture in the last couple of months, then I’m sure you have. Group purchase is a new way of buying things or services (online) and it’s in (很火 Hěn Huǒ – ‘very hot’).  The company that first introduced group purchase was 大众点评 Read More…

Chinese TV-Shows: Papa, Where Are We Going?
Papa, where are we going?
Post by Eva  

Suddenly, being a dad in China is very cool. Just today I was greeted by an add featuring a hunky looking fella that was equipped with diapers, pacifiers, and other necessary equipment (from the looks of the crying child still rather unsuccessfully) taking care of his kid. The ad was for an online supermarket, the Read More…

Swindled in China: The Teahouse Scam
tea ceremony
Post by Eva  

If Chinese people are not known for being innovative, they are surely known to be very resourceful. It’s nothing strange to encounter people that are busily working away in their illegal businesses: like the illegal taxis 黑车 (HēiChē), selling counterfeit (or stolen) goods, or trying to get some extra money from scams. In the country Read More…

The Faces of China: Big S
Big S
Post by Eva  

Walking around any city in China, turning on your TV, computer or looking at the ads displayed on the subway, in taxis, shops and magazines, you will be greeted by a limited number of faces that stand behind the world’s most famous brands. It would seem that international stars are a rare commodity in China, but those Read More…

Taxi Talk
taxi in China
Post by Eva  

  For visitors (foreigners), taxis (出租车 ChūZūChē) in China are a relatively safe and inexpensive method of transportation. Different cities offer different fares, with Shanghai and Beijing unsurprisingly topping the charts. Shanghai taxis have a 14 RMB starting fee, while Beijing chargers 13 RMB for the first three kilometres, but with the additional one-kuai (块 Read More…

Confucius and Confucianism
confucius small
Post by Eva  

  Have you  heard of Confucius yet? I bet you have. Confucius, or 孔子  (KǒngZǐ) is an ancient Chinese philosopher responsible for shaping many concepts and values still present in the Chinese society nowadays. Confucius lived during the period of Chinese history known as the Spring and Autumn Period (春秋时代 ChūnQiū ShíDài) that lasted from Read More…

Onomatopoeia
Chinese Onomatopoeia Animal Sounds
Post by Eva  

Such a funny word, onomatopoeia – all those vowels huddled together make it rather tricky to pronounce it (I don’t know about you, but I always end pronouncing it as if I was giving dictation to a six-year old). Going back to the subject, no surprise, today there’s going to be talk about words or Read More…

Let’s Talk about Chinese Food: Regional Differences

Post by Eva  

In one of our previous posts we’ve briefly discussed the main characteristics of Chinese cuisine, but in today’s post we shall venture even further. There are four, five, eight or even twelve schools of Chinese cuisine (depending on who you ask, really); for the sake of brevity we’ll tackle just four: they are Beijing, Sichuan, Read More…

A Taste of Chinese Internet Lingo: Very Yellow indeed!
yellow flower
Post by Eva  

Back in 2007, China Central Television (CCTV) started one of its many campaigns that called for extreme measures in cleaning up the Internet content (clean up your act, Internet). During on of its promotional broadcasts, the station interviewed a thirteen-year-old middle schooler who described her gruesome experience of unintentionally stumbling upon a website with pornographic  Read More…

Jing.fm – Music Streaming for when “You Feel Like It”
jing music
Post by Eva  

  Like many good things in life, I got to learn about Jing.fm by chance when browsing through Forbes China article “30 Under 30”  – a list of successful Chinese entrepreneurs under the age of 30. Shi Kaiwen (施凯文 Shī KǎiWén), the founder of Jing, is 24. He created Jing back in 2011 and, so Read More…

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