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The world revolves around China

Post by Eva  

When buying a world map in China, you’ll instantly notice two things: 1. Everything is written with (tiny) Chinese characters 2. It’s Asia-centered with Asia placed in the middle of the map, Africa and Europe on the left and the Americas on the right side of the map. So, China is placed in the middle of Read More…

Chinese Astrology

Post by Eva  

Throughout Chinese history, astrology (占星学 ZhānXīngXué) has always been closely linked with science (科学 KēXué) and philosophy (哲学 ZhéXué). It was believed that there are three primary forces of nature: heaven above, earth at the bottom and the man in between. The role of the man was in connecting the two other elements to create Read More…

What you don’t know about Chinese rivers

Post by Eva  

The first Chinese was spoken to me while I was still attending primary school. Back then our geography teacher – if not with skill, at least with conviction – said: ‘Yangzi’ and ‘Huanghe’. These, of course, are the names of the two most important rivers in China. In total, China has more than 1500 rivers, which Read More…

Student Question About Chinese Grammar

Post by admin  

I continue to enjoy learning Mandarin with you and thanks for the learning tips, even though I am not good at following them. My biggest problem is remembering the small additions that change tense. There seems to be several that do the same thing and knowing which to use is difficult. Is there a reference Read More…

Tsingtao and Qingdao

Post by Eva  

Tsingtao beer comes from the lovely city of Qingdao (青岛 QīngDǎo) situated in the Chinese northeast. This city is loved by many, local and foreigners alike, and is actually mistakenly considered to be the capital of  Shandong (山东 ShānDōng) province – when in fact, that is the city of Ji Nan (济南 JǐNán). Until the Read More…

Buddhism in China

Post by Eva  

One of the world’s most prominent religions is Buddhism, based on the teachings of Sakayumi Buddha. With estimated number of adherents somewhere between 350 and 550 million, Buddhism is the 4th largest religion in the world, following Christianity (in all shapes and sizes), Island and Hinduism. Originating in India, Buddhism was arrived to China more Read More…

Question about Mandarin Lesson 4

Post by admin  

A student asks: I am going over lesson 4 and a little confused about when to use ‘le’ or “mei” for past tense. Could I say either ” Ni chi le ne?” or “Ni chi mei chi?” – both meaning “Did you eat?” I’m also not sure about the use of “you” – Ni qu Read More…

When it’s too good to be true…Chances are, it is too good to be true.

Post by Eva  

In one of our previous posts we’ve mentioned the tea and gallery scams. Some students seemed to be confused about what actually happens there, so, this is a short summary of the net that might be cast your way someday as well. The gallery scam, or the art show scam, goes in the lines of Read More…

Tortoises VS Turtles in Chinese Culture

Post by Eva  

I have seen a fair share or tortoises while staying in China. In jade, bronze or stone, they are featured everywhere, and most importantly, respected. My first encounter with a tortoise of such kind ocurred during my first adventure into the Chinese speaking world, when during my attempt to climb on a gigantic stone statue of Read More…

Beijing – The Northern Ruler

Post by Eva  

It’s no secret, having lived both in Beijing and Shanghai, I do prefer the later one. Yes, Beijing is the cultural hub of China, with it’s lovely hutongs 胡同 (HúTòng) and tea houses and its superior fengshui 风水 (FēngShui), but Shanghai is the one that gets you easily spoiled with its international cuisines, shopping malls Read More…

The Charming Truth about Jade

Post by Eva  

Why is jade 玉 (Yù) so famous, so ubiquitous in China? Jade bracelets, sculptures, seals, bowls, ornaments and other trinkets are found just about everywhere and celebrated by everyone: the local Chinese, and the tourists. Let’s start with the character 玉 which is said to represent three beads of jade on a string. An extra Read More…

Have you ever tried calligraphy?

Post by Eva  

If you’ve ever tried studying Chinese, I bet you have. I did, by my 师傅 (ShīFu, ‘master’) quickly started insisting that I retire all my hopes of achieving the mastery of it (or at least some rudimentary skills), deeming my pulse too unsteady, thus influencing my strokes and producing an erratic-looking, intelligible scripture of some Read More…

Public Holidays in the category of Miscellaneous

Post by Eva  

In one of our previous posts I have already introduced the limited set of designated national holidays celebrated throughout China with rest days included. At this point,  let me also touch upon the concept of working weekends, which, inevitably, follow the days-off. For example, let’s say that the Mid-Autumn Festival falls on a Thursday, in this case Read More…

Public and National Holidays in China

Post by Eva  

China, obviously is a country whose government is not associated with any religion. In the past, buddhism and taoism were taking turns in influencing (at times, when the emperor himself was affiliated with a particular religion,  single-handedly deciding) the national policy, but that was all over and done with when the era of communism started Read More…

Qing Dynasty Saga, Part III, The New Beginning
Viceroy Lin Zexu
Post by Eva  

The opium problem started in the late 18th century when the British merchants tried to counterbalance the unfavourable trade with the Chinese side. As we have written already in our previous posts, China at that time believed to be superior to any other country in the world and the same went for its people and Read More…

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