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Yangsheng recreation for the old – socialist China meets neoliberal modernity 25-11-2012
tiantan_old_1544Visitors in Chinese parks, early in the morning or late afternoon, encounter a vibrant scene of retired Chinese engaging in all sorts of recreational activities. What lies under this passion and how these activities represent new sociocultural developments in Chinese society?
Vegetarianism in China: an encounter between Buddhism, health and social status 04-11-2012
Is there a true local vegetarian scene in China, who are its major 'players' and what does vegetarianism symbolize for Chinese society?
"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.

Jianbing Ren, 'pancake people' – A Chinese version of a global phenomenon 28-05-2012
Named after the popular street-food, the slang term 'jianbing ren' presents the impulsiveness and shallowness of the modern capitalist minds. While it is definitely not a phenomenon unique for China, it is interesting to see how it is interpreted and discussed in the contemporary Chinese landscape.
Chinese self-help culture: Reaching out to the Global society while maintaining Discreteness 26-04-2012
Self-help culture has taken over the Chinese urban society in recent years. Rather than simply being a sign of Westernization, some unique local formats, influenced by both one's modern aspirations and traditional norms, design the practice of self-help in the Middle Kingdom.
Sheng Nü – 'Leftover Women' - The thin line between women independence and social disgrace 07-04-2012

The amusing, yet derogatory slang expression "sheng nü" puts Chinese women in a confusing limbo where they are left to ponder how to maintain a modern lifestyle without endangering social norms and tradition.

Communist Party censorship against Communism and the different implications of Maoism 24-03-2012
Recent events in Chongqing and the secretive dismissal of Bo Xilai have created a landscape where Maoism has become a target of suppression by the Chinese leadership.
Foreign brands in China and their twofold approach to Chinese tradition 19-03-2012
Western brands in China often face a dilemma when adapting to the local culture. These brands gain popularity by symbolizing modernity and designing cultural trends, while on the other hand these enterprises wish to avoid clashes with traditional customs.
Konggui Zu: Youngsters' fear of returning home for the Chinese New Year as a natural response to traditional and popular values 21-01-2012
In days when everything is colored in red and traditional family values intertwine with commercial campaigns, stressing the importance of a happy New Year's family reunion, some young Chinese find it harder to make the shift between their daily life and the festive event. Spring Festival for them is an emotionally challenging period.
Between heaven and earth - a photography exhibition that demonstrates the aspirations of common Chinese 30-12-2011

What is the content of Chinese individuals' aspirations and what is the relation between dreams and the everyday reality? This is basically the topic of the interesting photo series- '现实给了梦想多少时间?' 'how much time does reality allow for a dream to exist?' which appeared in the Chinese media recently. 

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. Although he is trying to represent traditional Chinese culture, the Wolf Dad is mostly corresponding to modern values, while the Chinese society is overall regarding this Wolf as a hinder to its positive development.  
A holiday invasion – Why are Chinese enthusiastically adopting new festive events? 19-11-2011
A Chinese lunar calendar full of traditional holidays, new special PRC dates with a nationalistic flavor, Western holidays which are becoming attractive, international dates that make China globally aware and now even special new Chinese traditions invented. What makes Chinese people consume holidays like they were man tou?
The 'Xiao Yue Yue' incident as a source of complete despair and a glimpse of hope 25-10-2011
The chilling video of little YueYue being run over and ignored by passengers should not be overlooked, but while some Western journalists are linking the event to a corrupted regime and Chinese personage are promoting Good Samaritan Laws, the widespread emotional response to the incident throughout China is also worth acknowledgment and discussion.
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 Internet Language – The Creative Netizen Mind 30-08-2011

Much more impressively than the abbreviations used in English (or most languages) online chats, Chinese internet language (wangluo yuyan) has generated a new form of slang. The spreading of new terms through the internet, the games conducted upon Chinese characters and their phonetics, and the motivation to avoid censorship, have all created a new dimension of language and a unique phenomenon.

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.
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.
The social pressure that kills romance 23-05-2011
In China, the quest for stability and parent approval when choosing a spouse sneaks in much earlier dating stages than it does in the West. Are such pressures significantly more intense in China or are they universal factors that simply arise earlier in China, as a part of a realistic approach?
Peixun 培训 - Extracurricular training, modern self-cultivation 12-05-2011

Filling up numerous commercial ads or bulletin boards, the word '培训', (peixun - training, teaching, cultivating) has become more abundant than street snacks, indicating that in contemporary China people continuously assess their own capabilities, getting in shape for present-future career and personal challenges.  

Tea and Business, Chit-Chat and Sales – The indirect ways of closing deals in China 04-03-2011
Though some Chinese companies may adopt more direct approaches, business deals in China often need to 'pass through' a comfortable friendly interaction, involving Chinese tea and breathing 'cultural scent', before reaching the bottom 'money line'.
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?
The Overlapping of Work and Personal Life – Less Freedom in the Domestic Sphere, Less Pressure in the Working Hours 05-12-2010
In 2010 free-market-China many traces of the communist 'work unit' 单位 danwei still exist, whether in working systems or in individual workers' mentality. When there is no distinct boundary between work and personal life, besides experiencing less personal freedom, one can also see his or her work as their life and hence maintain a positive attitude towards it.
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.

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.
Can the Charm of Renqi '人气' Survive Modern Urban Shopping Districts? 31-05-2010
Traditional downtown setting is being transformed throughout China in recent decades. Can the magic of renqi 人气, 'the breathing of people' in bustling street markets be preserved in the modern urban landscape?
Dagongmei – Women migrant laborers – Independence through Capitalism or Capitalism through Independence? 21-05-2010
For dagongmei (打工妹), woman workers who come from the country side to work in one of the factories in eastern China, there are no illusions about the hard nature of their work. Leaving home and becoming urban workers is for them the adaptation of a modern lifestyle as well as a unique root of becoming independent of their parents' moral authority. 
''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.
Superficial Modernization, Deep Assimilation - Does Confucianism exist in modern consumption habits? 02-05-2010

'Self-help' books, now very popular in China, might seem to contradict the roots of Chinese tradition. However, traditional Chinese principles such as Li 礼, the effect of ritual on the inner spirit and the lack of distinction between 'superficial' and 'deep' cultural elements are also present in the manner they are adopted in today's China. 

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