China Summer Program 2016 — Part 1 — Stinky Tofu, Chicken Claws and a Hole of Bathroom

Going to the restroom can turn into a real challenge while traveling in China. Soon after our trip started, the children found out that most of the public restrooms are squat toilets. Soon the slang “a hole” emerged amongst the group as a codename for such toilets. When we stopped for bathroom breaks on our way or at restaurants, one of the children would first scout out the bathroom situation and report back to the group. If the report comes back as “a hole,” most of the children would rather hold it until the next bathroom break. When the children asks on the way somewhere, “How long does it take to get there?” They were most likely not inquiring about the distance, but instead trying to estimate when the next bathroom break will be and calculate if holding it in is possible.

Under the Smog and Away From It (Part 1): The Passion for English and Learning — How children and adults from a small town in China learn and teach English

Part 1 of 2

My trips to China to visit my 80-year old father tend to be mixed in with work. For the holiday break of December 2015, I was brought to Zunyi (遵义) — a town in Southwest China —by both my curiosity and the enthusiastic invitation of Ms. Zhongqin Yao (姚忠琴), the head of a local community education program known as Sishype Education.

What About Chinese Dialects? — Part III: What Do Chinese People Think About Their Mandarin Being Tainted With Local Accents?

A Chinese person in Sichuan posted this online: "I just can’t speak Mandarin well, (because) I just can’t get rid of my local dialect accent. I’m so depressed. I want to jump off a building. Can someone help me? It’ll be great if someone can tell me how to speak better Mandarin.” What are the many responses to his posts? What do these responses tell us about Chinese people’s attitude toward the status and utility of Mandarin and their local dialects?

What About Chinese Dialects? — Part II: A Tribute to Two Heroic Scholars Through A Children's Play

About 2,000 years ago in the capital city of the Han Emperor, Yang Xiong was an Imperial Court scholar. Why was he so eager to grab and talk to the local officials and soldiers from all over the country? Two millenniums later, Klas Bernhard Johannes Karlgren was a young Swedish scholar. Why did he come to China and roamed all over? What do the stories of both of these historical figures tell us about Chinese dialects?