Category Archives: Uncategorized

Qing Ming Jie – time for tomb sweeping

Tomorrow is Qing Ming Jie 清明节, which literally translates as ‘Clear Bright Festival’. It is one of the major Chinese festivals, in English it is often called ‘Tomb Sweeping Day’.  As it always held on the 1st day of the … Continue reading

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Chop it to make it legal

Do you know what a ‘chop’ is in China?  (hint: it is NOT a cut of meat).                                   It is a  carved seal bearing the name of the individual, company, Provincial government, government department etc. Chops have been used for thousands … Continue reading

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Chinese Proverbs

Tian gao, Huangdi yuan. 天高皇帝远  Heaven is high, and the Emperor is far away This is the first Chinese proverb I ever heard used and completely understood;  and to my mind it encapsulates China and the way it is governed. … Continue reading

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Twinkle toes!

When one is young, one doesn’t really give one’s feet much thought – they are just there -  conveniently placed at the end of your legs. And whilst I’m on the subject of legs -  what the hell happened to … Continue reading

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Going bananas about being called a banana

Over the past few days a bit of a brouhaha has blown up in the western media – particularly the American media – about an article written in one of the ‘official’ English language newspapers here in China. The controversial … Continue reading

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Lucky day for a haircut

Here in China it has long been thought that the luckiest day of the year to get your hair cut is longtaitou 龙抬头 (meaning ‘Dragon raises its head’ )  also known as ‘er yue er‘ 二月二. This festival is always … Continue reading

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Smashing vases – pot calls kettle black.

Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei has hit the headlines once again because at an exhibition of his work in Miami a disgruntled Florida artist, Maximo Caminero,  seized one of AWW’s jars – a  group of which were a single exhibit – … Continue reading

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Japan must face up to its past history.

As the recent argy-bargy between China and Japan about the ‘ownership’ of the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands has been rumbling along  I have had questions from friends and family about how I think the Chinese feel about the Japanese, and whether the … Continue reading

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Welcome the Year of the Horse! 马年春节快乐

Spring Festival – aka Chinese New Year is upon us, and as the Year of the Snake slithers away, the Year of the Horse arrives.  And this time, to be absolutely accurate, it is a wood horse – a green … Continue reading

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Burns’ Night in Beijing – For Auld Lang Syne

In Scotland, and all over the globe, January 25th is celebrated as Burns’ Night in honour of Scotland’s most famous poet Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns who died at the ridiculously young age of 37 over 200 years ago. From Moscow to … Continue reading

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