A Fear of Pop Culture?

A Fear of Pop Culture?

In recent months Beijing has been taking a strong stance against popular culture, cracking down on talent shows, regulating fan groups, limiting access to computer games and detaining some of the country’s most popular celebrities. The reasoning behind these measures are not entirely clear, but Beijing’s actions suggest China’s leaders are worried about the growing influence of pop culture. Television Shows Controlling television and radio […]

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The Secrets of Chinese Mathematics

The Secrets of Chinese Mathematics

Across Europe and North America there is a commonly held belief that people from China are inherently good at Mathematics. This stereotype has been reinforced in popular culture, with the geeky Chinese student a regular fixture in memes, cartoons and high school movies.  These stereotypes are supported by some factual data, such as the international recognised ‘Programme for International Student Assessment’, PISA Mathematics rankings. Over […]

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Archaeological Discovery rewrites China’s history

Archaeological Discovery rewrites China’s history

An awe-inspiring archaeological find at a site in China’s Sichuan province, is forcing historians to rewrite the history of Chinese civilization. The recently unveiled discoveries of at the Sanxingdui site date from 1,200 B.C.. The treasures discovered indicate that the mysterious Shu Kingdom, which ruled the upper reaches of the Yangtze River until 316 BC, had advanced bronze crafting skills and was a highly developed civilisation.  […]

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Best Books to learn about China and Chinese Culture

Best Books to learn about China and Chinese Culture

One question we are often asked by students wishing to learn more about China is, ‘What are the best books to read about China?’ China has a very rich literary tradition dating back thousands of years, making it often difficult for readers to know where to start. To provide an entry point to China’s literature canon, we recommend the following ten books. These texts are […]

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Success in the Year of the Ox

Success in the Year of the Ox

2020 was a difficult year, and nearly everyone is happy to put the Year of the Rat behind them. There are high expectations that 2021 will be a better year for us all. In Chinese astrology, 2021 is the Year of the Ox, and according to Chinese beliefs this will be a good year for some, but a difficult year for others. For success in […]

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Mid-Autumn Festival

Mid-Autumn Festival

Mooncake Festival Falling on the 15th day of the 8th month according to the Chinese lunar calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival is the second grandest festival in China after the Chinese New Year.  On the festival day, family members gather to appreciate the bright full moon, tell stories of the moon to the children, eat moon cakes, and express love toward family members and friends who […]

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Homosexuality in China

Homosexuality in China

China is home to the world’s largest lesbian, gay and bisexual population, there is a long and well documented history of homosexuality in China and homosexuality is legal in China. However, despite these facts which suggest a positive attitude towards homosexuality, the situation for many LGBT people in China is still complex, with many individuals facing discrimination and struggling for acceptance. Historians suggest that homosexuality […]

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How many Valentine’s Days does China have?

How many Valentine’s Days does China have?

In China, younger generations have enthusiastically adopted a number of western festivals, including Thanksgiving, Halloween, Christmas and Valentine’s Day, much to the annoyance of traditionalists who fret over the Westernisation of Chinese culture.  What is interesting about China’s adoption of February 14 Valentine’s Day is that China already has special days which celebrate love and romance. In fact, Chinese couples are now able to confess their undying […]

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Get Ready for the Year of the Rat

Get Ready for the Year of the Rat

On Saturday 25 January, 2020, millions of people across the world will celebrate Chinese New Year and the arrival of the Year of the Rat (鼠年).   The Year of the Rat, which will run from 25 January, 2020 to 11 February, 2021, is considered a year for optimism, new experiences and new beginnings. While in English we refer to this year as Year of the […]

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Singles Day 11/11

Singles Day 11/11

How China’s anti-valentine’s became the world’s biggest shopping day Not only does China celebrate Valentine’s three times a year , but the country also has an anti-valentine’s celebration, known as Singles Day (光棍节), and it’s become the world’s biggest shopping day. While Chinese society continues to exhort traditional family values , there remains enormous pressure on young people, especially women, to marry, settle down and start families before they […]

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