Happy You and Me Party                 December, 2009   

 

Chinese people all seem to have hidden talents.  Sing, dance, do calligraphy, perform something.   For a long time, I saw this in my Chinese government friends, and I thought, well, these are the best and the brightest, so they are smart and talented people.  But the arts cultivation is wider than that.

So now I see I was wrong.   My college students- who are not yet in the government- put on a Happy You and Me Party for all the foreign students and teachers about two weeks before Christmas.   The event was sponsored by the school, and the International Chinese Students Organization.   The ICSO students serve as the go-to helpers for foreigners- take us shopping in a school bus on Saturdays, so we can buy regular American (or German) junk food, instead of Chinese junk food, and help with recharging phones with money and related problems.

This was clearly the holiday party, but it was not called a Christmas party.   I don’t think that was any cultural sensitivity to not everyone in the US or Germany or Russia or Kazakhstan being Christian.   Chinese are generally surprised to learn that Jews are not Christians.    I don’t know what they think of Muslims.   I think the sensitivity is to the Chinese government, not wanting to promote a religious event.  So, Happy You and Me Party.

One Third Coke, Two Thirds Sprite                   Spring, 2011


For the last six years before I came to China, all of my students at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago were zhonguo zhengfu guanyuan, Chinese government officials. Many have become friends, and I stay in touch with them as much as I can. This is about a wedding I attended recently. Michael, one of my government students, picked me up at school.

Cultural Hegemony, from 1959                 Summer, 2016                       

Not sure where this fits … I have always thought that the comments on the “Chinglish” street signs and hotel menus were tending to the mean-spirited, even if some were funny.   No one laughs at my speaking Chinese.


We were at afternoon tea yesterday with one of my students from Chicago and her husband and daughter.  They both work for the Hangzhou police department, in jobs that have to do with contact with foreign governments and screening government officials who want to go abroad.

Recent

  • A Quick Voting Guide

    A Quick Voting Guide

    We get plenty of advice about how to be a good or strong leader – ask others for input, don’t take all the credit, don’t micromanage … but these are modes of practice.  When we look around, there is surprisingly little advice on the sort of moral qualities a leader should possess.  Here is a quick review.

    Read more ...  
  • Everything old is new again – Inner Mongolia

    Everything old is new again – Inner Mongolia

    If you’ve gotten tired of depressing news from Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hong Kong, there is a new oppression to watch in Inner Mongolia. As in the other provinces comprising mostly non-Han people, the new policy requires forced language change and erasing of traditional culture.

    Read more ...  
  • It is to laugh – or not ... more on culture wars in elementary math class ...

    It is to laugh – or not ... more on culture wars in elementary math class ...

    It’s not often that life imitates art so precisely.  When it does, the result is frightening. But there it all is, on YouTube and Twitter. 

    First the art. Watch Alternative Math  - A Short Film at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh3Yz3PiXZw&t=17s from Ideaman.  This is a nine minute recounting of a teacher’s existential crisis at trying to teach 2 + 2 = 4 in a modern progressive  American school.  The 2017 film is meant to be a parody, but then ….

    Read more ...  

Resources

Economics Blogs

Party News

Australian National University ANU and related

History, Language and Culture Basics

Contemporary Economics, Governance, and Law

Economics and Cultural History - Interpretation

Work on contemporary China, academics and journalists but in the popular media

Work on contemporary China, mostly in the popular media

Philosophy, Daoist and Confucian Studies

Political Reference Documents