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China sums up its Olympic performance in a sweet & bitter flavor 18-08-2012
zhang_wenxiu_528While the Olympics are always good fuel for national pride, ambivalent emotions stir up the Chinese hearts when looking back at the London Olympics: Great medal achievements, yet inferior to the US; complete dominance in several sports, but uncertainty whether or not they remain Olympic events in the future; glorious moments but some extraordinary failures (Liu Xiang?). Above all a bitter taste of victimhood seems to fill to mouths of politicians, athletes and netizens, particularly when discussing the refereeing in London 2012.
Liu Xiang's dramatic Olympic failure and the mixed feelings of the Chinese public 08-08-2012
liu_xiang_fall_497China's most popular athlete, Liu Xiang, is acclaiming the unflattering title of 'Liu Shuaishaui' ('falling Liu'), after a dramatic tumble on the 110m hurdles race at the London Olympics. While the popularity of Liu was never in question, some popular reactions in China express little support and question the problematic morality behind his failure.
Sexy Mandarin: The appeal of Chinese language through bodies of women 01-07-2012
No more subtle and insinuative associations between Chinese culture and Asian femininity, but rather utilizing attractive bodies as a direct platform for language learning... The language website "Sexy Mandarin" is becoming viral in recent months, leading Chinese to debate over its significance: Another indication for the dominance of Chinese culture or an easy way to expose local skin.
"Zui mei" - Modern Chinese heroes as the encounter between reality culture and traditional values 16-06-2012

Zhang Lili, Wu Bin, Wu Juping and more are modern role models of Chinese culture, ordinary people who became instant heroes through an altruistic act and pull strongly the emotional chords of Chinese society.

Wolf Dad accompanies Tiger Mom, though most Chinese are trying to escape the parenting 'zoo' 26-11-2011
The Chinese Wolf Dad is a new figure in the 'parenting world', promoting strict and violent discipline as method to put Chinese youth back on tracks. Although he is trying to represent traditional Chinese culture, he is mostly corresponding to modern values, while the Chinese society is overall regarding this Wolf as a hinder to its positive development.  
Su Zizi 苏紫紫 - Lost daughter or strong woman? 17-10-2011

su_zizi_761The story of Su Zizi 苏紫紫 is a great source of debates about modern values, art, pornography and internet media.

Chinese and English versions of China's leading news portals – Two styles of journalism 15-08-2011
Some of China's leading newspapers, particularly those with a developed online interface, present both Chinese and foreign language (mainly English) pages. Though some news items are naturally congruent in both languages, the editors seldom simply translate news from one language to another and rather create two distinct news pages in Chinese and English, with different sections, articles and points of emphasis. This article briefly examines the cases in the portal of China leading newspaper People's Daily renmin ribao 人民日报, and the more international oriented China Daily zhongguo ribao中国日报.
Weibo Microblogs – A Western format with new Chinese implications 06-08-2011
Already exceeding 200 million users, an impressive number even when considering the immense internet population size, the Chinese weibo-microblogs format has become a channel for spontaneous expression and platform which is regarded by Chinese media and government with respect, as the leadership allows netizens to express themselves quite freely, while attempting to broaden its self legitimacy through the weibo.
Li Na - From an athlete in the shadows to a new national hero 05-06-2011
Li Na (李娜) reached success through the backdoor, but within hours she had become the number one source of national pride. How will the 2011 French Open victory (and the first Grand-slam title won by an Asian), change the career, the public relations and the character of China's new tennis hero?
周杰伦 Jay Chou – Different appeal in East and West 01-06-2011
A singing model or a skillful songwriter? A honorable spokesman of Chinese companies or a proud Taiwanese? Different forces are linked to the Zhou Jielun (Jay Chou) enterprise, but it seems that they all push his popularity forward.
McDonald's China - The McCaffe renovation which expands the network towards middle class comfort 08-05-2011

McDonald's (麦当劳 Maidanglao), has been attracting Chinese middle class members and youngsters who enjoy the scent of American culture. New designs in some of China's McDonald's branches are making the chain a stylish adult location, a step which reinforces the differences in the way this fast-food chain is treated in China and in the west.

East-West Beauty standards regarding Chinese actresses: Between Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi and Fan Bingbing 21-03-2011
Beauty standards are hard to define, even within a certain society, and any survey in this matter is not comprehensive enough. Yet it is clear that beauty standards for Chinese women in the west and in China are often unparallel. Do Chinese prefer traditional looking or more European looking Chinese stars and how are Gong Li, Zhang Ziyi and Fan Bingbing involved in this discussion?
NBA in China - From the TV to the Streets, from Sports Fans to Everyday People 27-02-2011
While Yao Ming is on the verge of retirement, no risk lies over the popularity of NBA in China. Besides of clever marketing, the talent of NBA stars inspires Chinese even in places that other American culture icons fail to do so.
Justified Remake? Liu Dehua and Gong Li meet at last in 'Wo Zhi Nuren Xin' - 'What Women Want' 07-02-2011

Liu Dehua (Andy Lau) and Gong Li are the stars of Wo Zhi Nuren Xin, remake of US movie What Women Want, promoting the new trend of remaking Hollywood films in mainland China. How is the movie adpated to Chinese audience and how do the two mega-stars perform in their historical collaboration?

Jiaozi and TV – Chinese New Year Traditions 02-02-2011
In its 28 years, the CCTV (China Central Television) New Years Gala (chūnjié liánhuān wǎnhuì) has become one of the biggest New Lunar Year traditions. Despite not managing to avoid criticism of not keeping up with modern society, most families still regard it as the finest dinner dish.
Christmas in China – Who, Where and Why? 02-01-2011
Christmas is becoming a major event in China. Considering the small proportions of Christians in the Chinese population, China is perhaps the country were Christmas is most celebrated as a secular holiday. But can the wide acknowledgement of Christmas in China really be considered as a true Christmas celebration?
Filial Piety – Tradition, Social Stability and TV Rating 06-11-2010

Appreciating and supporting one's parents seems to be an emotional theme and an essential value, appearing frequently in the Chinese media and entertainment content. Why is filial piety such a concensus and how does the media and commercial TV use it for their own interests?

China's Pizza Hut Experience - Everything but Pizza 02-10-2010

Pizza Hut as a middle-class family hangout: The colorful face of the chain's restaurants touch the right buttons in urban Chinese.

Chinese Football League - Popular Sport or Middle Class Hangout? 20-09-2010

After attending a football game of Shandong Luneng, the current leader of the Chinese Super League (CSL), it is still difficult to decide whether we are dealing with a passionate and colorful sport or a concert-like activity.

Woju - Dwelling Narrowness - The Eternal Quest for a Better Lifestyle 08-08-2010
Based on a 2007 novel by Liuliu, Woju 蜗居, 'Dwelling Narrowness' has become a popular TV series in 2009, addressing urban social problems directly, though gently.
Chinese BBS – The Social Activity that Never Grows Old 05-08-2010
Social Networks have become a hit in China like in most other places, though the strength and popularity of BBS (Bulletin Board Systems), which generally speaking are internet forums and discussion boards, evolution-wise a long distance behind the web2 technology, cannot be restrained.
Why do So Many Chinese Dislike Zhang Ziyi 22-07-2010
A beautiful actress, a huge success story and a familiar face worldwide, but for some reason Zhang Ziyi (章子怡) seem to get on the wrong side of many Chinese's nerves. How come?
To Live 活着- From a Yuhua Novel to a Zhang Yimou Production 05-06-2010
I was lucky to attend a lecture by famous author Yuhua, in which he discussed the of the adaptation process of his famous book to a 1994 movie by Zhang Yimou. A humoristic interesting story.
Yu Hua’s (余华) Novels – Simple Chinese, Quality Literature 05-06-2010
Yu Hua, one of the most famous Chinese novelists, tends to use spoken and simple language, which fits the ambience of his poor characters. The results are books which are quite easy to read and yet comprise of sophisticated literature.
Gong Li in 'Raise the Red Lantern' and 'Shanghai Triad' – The Tragedy of a Victim who Reinforces the System 21-05-2010
In ‘Raise the Red Lantern' (Dà Hóng Dēnglóng Gāogāo Guà-大红灯笼高高挂) and ‘Shanghai Triad' (yáo a yáo, yáo dào wàipó qiáo -摇啊摇,摇到外婆桥) Zhang Yimou portrays cruel authority systems in which the most innocent and conscientious woman, played by Gong Li, becomes the executer of new victims, in the tragic climax of the plot.
Ermo (二嫫) - Women’s Independence, Men’s Impotence 21-05-2010
The fascinating 1994 movie 'Ermo' 二嫫, discusses the story of a peasant woman, Ermo, in her quest to join the modern capitalist race. Ermo's initiative is induced by her veteran husband's metaphoric and physical impotence.
''Not One Less'' - Zhang Yimou’s happy-ending-film doesn’t survive critics’ cynicism 06-05-2010
"Not One Less" - yí ge dōu bù néng shǎo 一个都不能少 unfortunately isn't considered as one of Zhang Yimou's master worksby most Western critics, perhaps due to the fact that it ends happily.
No, it's not Political 25-04-2010

Western critics of Chinese art, film and literature often only praise works that express political criticism and sadly disregard wonderful works which discuss complex or optimistic themes.

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