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Winter travels: chill out read more
Dec-31st-2012 | Post by expatree

Winter is here, temperatures dropping lower and lower and shorter days. But it doesn’t mean that we have to hibernate and avoid travelling.
If you live in Shanghai, want to travel in China for a weekend or during the holidays and are adaptable, the cold season won’t stop you. You’ll just need a good rain coat and some extra layers for the outdoor activities… But where to go?

Here are some suggestions depending on how much free time you might have.
If in the warm season it’s nice even just to play the “tourist” in the city you live in, in the winter you’ll prefer to accept the discomfort of walking around in the cold only if you see something particularly interesting or beautiful.
But let’s start from the obvious. A popular Chinese saying goes: “In the sky there is heaven, while here on the earth we have Suzhou and Hangzhou”. The beauty of these two towns dates back a long way.

Nowadays, with the new high s
No Plan for NYE? Still NOT too late! read more
Dec-27th-2012 | Post by expatree

If you are living in China, you would probably realise that the way Chinese people spend their New Year is quite different from what you normally experience in your home country.  When expats talk about “New Year”, they generally refer to January 1st or the start of the new calendar year, whereas when Chinese or maybe South East Asian people talk about “New Year”, they generally refer to “Chinese New Year”, which is considered to be the most important public holiday of the year.  This difference comes from the fact that China and Western countries adopted different calendars.  Western countries’ New Year is based on Gregorian Calendar which is based on solar cycle, while Chinese New Year is based on lunar cycle.

You can also see the differences from what Western and Chinese people do on New Year’s Eve and New Year. In Western countries, young people go out for parties, hang out with their friends, and watch some sports, yo
Are you still alive today? read more
Dec-21st-2012 | Post by expatree

Are you still alive?  21st December 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar, is approaching. As many of you know, it is claimed to be the day that the world ends. 

According to a research conducted by Reuters/Ipsos poll, 10% of people in 21 different countries believe the Mayan calendar which ends on 21st December 2012. Interestingly, the research also shows that Chinese citizens are more likely to believe the Mayan calendar (20%) compared to the average. It is quite hard to explain this tendency for me as a foreigner, but it is said that this is because of the influence of the movie “2012”, and this rumour is quickly spreading out through social media in China.

Although, the majority of Chinese people don´t seem to care about this day, I heard quite a few people bought candles in case of “total blackout”, which comes from a rumour posted on Weibo that predicted there will be 3 days of black out.  On the other hand, some are going to do somethi
Schoolbag or Trolley Case? An incredible change comes over China read more
Dec-13th-2012 | Post by expatree

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“I want to be…”

Do you still remember a similar question asked by your primary school teacher?
Everyone once had a beautiful childhood dream, however these days that sounds ironic to almost every Chinese student in primary school. If you think it’s a joke that kids carry a “suitcase” while going to school, you are mistaken. In every day life children are saying goodbye to the backpack with school supplies and start taking a suitcase to school. This phenomenon reflects several hot topics and arguments behind this incredible change.
Let’s see a brief interview from a primary school student in Shanghai,
Journalist:“It looks heavy when you carry your suitcase, how many books are in there?”

Student:“A lot. Besides Chinese, Math, English these basic books, there are other books such as a exercise books for Mathematical Olympiad, Technology, Arts and many
Binary Thinking?! Something You have to Know read more
Dec-6th-2012 | Post by expatree

East meets West: is binary thinking the only way to see reality?

Binary thinking stems from an ancestral way of thinking, it leads us to consider reality in terms of duality, putting elements into opposition, dividing issues into two extremes. This presents us with a number of thought provoking questions: In which context is this way of reasoning relevant? When and how can it limit us? How can one see further while integrating this approach together with others, in order to consider reality in all its complexity?
What is binary thinking?

This traditional way of thinking has its origins in the observation of the world, a world made of oppositions (day/night, man/woman, evil/devil etc). Aristote and Descartes were the first ones to structure this logic consisting of dividing, distinguishing and opposing items. In binary thinking, there is no in-between; all is black or white, good or bad, nice or ugly. It is the law of “all or nothing”, something is perfect or …s
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