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Chinese Cinderella Story: The Story Behind Lao Gan Ma Chili Sauce Posted by on Apr 1, 2019

老干妈 (lǎo gàn mā) is a famous Chinese chili sauce. It is one of the most favored chili sauces in China, a must-have (必备bì bèi) in every house. In recent years, it has seen growing popularity overseas, too. New York Magazine ranked the spicy sauce in first place. On the Facebook page of The Lao…

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Cantonese Food Posted by on Mar 25, 2019

Cantonese Food

One of the most famous styles of Chinese food is Cantonese cuisine, known in Chinese simply as Guangdong cuisine (广东菜 – guǎng dōng cài). In terms of the Eight Great Culinary Traditions of China (中国的八大菜系 – zhōng guó de bā dà cài xì), it’s known simply as Yue Cuisine (粤菜 – yuè cài). In this…

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The Different Usages of the Character 白 Posted by on Mar 18, 2019

When learning a new language you should begin with the basics: numbers, directions, colors, etc. And this is how I was introduced to the character 白 (bái). A simple five-stroke-character meaning “white”. While pursuing my Chinese studies I occasionally encounter this character. Sometimes it maintains its meaning as white, but sometimes it means something else…

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All About Chairman Mao Posted by on Mar 11, 2019

It’s been over 40 years since Mao Zedong (毛泽东 – máo zé dōng) passed away, but he remains a very important figure in China to this very day. While the China of 2019 would certainly be unrecognizable to Chairman Mao (people driving Audis, drinking Starbucks, and eating KFC), he is still ever-present in the modern…

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Wedding Photos in China Posted by on Mar 4, 2019

Wedding photos in China during Mao’s regime, especially during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), were simple. So was the wedding ceremony itself. The couple wore their everyday clothes, the gifts included copies of Mao’s Little Red Book, and the celebration consisted of a simple meal and revolutionary songs. But, things have changed. Weddings are devoid of…

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China’s Social Media Crackdown Targets Twitter Posted by on Feb 25, 2019

Most western social media (社交媒体shè jiāo méi tǐ) in China is blocked, including Twitter (推特tuī tè). The Chinese government tries to control the internet, but Chinese users gain access to the blocked websites. They use circumvention tools, such as a special software called VPN (virtual private networks), to visit the websites. Most of them do…

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A Guide to the Chinese Lantern Festival Posted by on Feb 19, 2019

A Guide to the Chinese Lantern Festival

Today marks the fifteenth and final day of the Spring Festival. Known as the Lantern Festival (元宵节 – yuán xiāo jié), the Chinese name can be broken down as such – the character 元 refers to the first lunar month, and 宵 means “night.” A full moon shines brightly on this night, but that’s not the only light you’ll…

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