Matrilineal Mosuo Cultural Decline: Allure of Modernization, Impact of Tourism and Conveniently Customized History

In the 1950s, many of China’s policies towards its ethnic minorities were inspired by those of the Soviet Union. In the northeast near the Sino-Russian border, for instance, the Oroqen (鄂伦春) found their animistic faith banned and their shamans forced to burn their sacred attire and renounce their “spirit dances” (Last Shaman). Many peoples like … Continue reading Matrilineal Mosuo Cultural Decline: Allure of Modernization, Impact of Tourism and Conveniently Customized History

China’s Online Courses for the World: Tweaking International Media Coverage for Chinese Eyes

  On Oct 21, the New York Times ran an interesting article entitled China Turns to Online Courses, and Mao, in Pursuit of Soft Power.  Sure enough, Xinhua's Cankao Xiaoxi picked it up and translated it for the masses just two days later, with an enhanced title that focuses on capturing foreign eyeballs (中文原文): 中国借网络课程吸引外国受众 … Continue reading China’s Online Courses for the World: Tweaking International Media Coverage for Chinese Eyes

Frankfurt Book Fair 2015: China’s Culture of Censorship in the Limelight

Oct 17 Update 纽约时报中文网:美国 12 家出版商集体对中国审查说不 * * * * * Oct 16 2015 In Phil Collins and Ai Weiwei Make Waves at Frankfurt Book Fair, we learn that China’s repugnant censorship practices are generating some real pushback: The fair also saw China accepted as the newest member of the International Publishers Association – a … Continue reading Frankfurt Book Fair 2015: China’s Culture of Censorship in the Limelight

Pro-active Guide for Foreign Scribes: How to Deal with Censorship of Your Writing in Xi Dada’s China

In a global world where the printed book resembles a species under threat, China’s publishing industry is a striking exception. Total revenues exceeded US$16 billion in 2012, and annual growth averages 10 percent. And in that same year, Chinese publishers acquired 16,115 foreign titles. Authors worldwide naturally want to break into this potentially lucrative market. … Continue reading Pro-active Guide for Foreign Scribes: How to Deal with Censorship of Your Writing in Xi Dada’s China

Quote of the Week: Human Rights Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang Uses Taboo “C” Word about Xinjiang

“If you say Xinjiang belongs to China, then don’t treat it as a colony,” Mr. Pu wrote in May 2014. “Don’t act as conquerors and plunderers, striking out against any and all before and after, turning them into the enemy.” 浦志强在 2014 年 5 月时曾写道,“说新疆是中国的,就别把它当殖民地说新疆是中国的,别当征服者和掠夺者,先发制人后发制人都为制人,都是把对方当敌人。” (Tweet by Pu Zhiqiang (浦志强), a human rights lawyer now facing … Continue reading Quote of the Week: Human Rights Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang Uses Taboo “C” Word about Xinjiang

Peter Hessler on the China Translator and “Defensive Censorship”

In Travels with My Censor: A Book Tour, author Peter Hessler decides the best way to understand censorship in China is to spend some quality time with the humans --- they aren't machines or faceless apparatchiks --- who practice it. Very educational for him and us, I'd say. This piece in The New Yorker also … Continue reading Peter Hessler on the China Translator and “Defensive Censorship”

Foreign Authors and the Allure of “Special Editions” of their Books for Chinese Eyes

“Please kindly let me know if it is possible for us to cooperate on a special version of your book for its China publication,” read a Shanghai publisher’s letter to Evan Osnos, formerly The New Yorker’s China correspondent. Writing in the May 2 edition of the New York Times (China’s Censored World), Osnos gives us … Continue reading Foreign Authors and the Allure of “Special Editions” of their Books for Chinese Eyes

Chen Zhongshi’s “White Deer Plain”: Censored to Win Coveted Mao Dun Literary Prize

White Deer Plain, a newly launched movie based on Chen Zhongshi's novel of the same name (白鹿原, 陈忠实著), has aroused controversy both as a book and as a film. The novel tells the tale of two families, Bai and Lu, living through the fall of the Qing Dynasty, the beginning of the Republic and the rise of … Continue reading Chen Zhongshi’s “White Deer Plain”: Censored to Win Coveted Mao Dun Literary Prize

“Mosuo Culture Bonfire Parties”: Hamming it up for the Tourists, Attendance Required

Canada's Globe and Mail recently ran a piece on the impact of modernity and tourism on the Mosuo (摩梭族), a matriarchal tribe that resides around Yunnan's Luguhu Lake (泸沽湖). In China, a Matriarchy under Threat has now been translated, edited and published as 《云南摩梭人遭遇现代化挑战》in the August 17, 2011 edition of Cankao Xiaoxi (参考消息). Cankao is a respected … Continue reading “Mosuo Culture Bonfire Parties”: Hamming it up for the Tourists, Attendance Required

Ethnic China Chic: “Minority” Theme Parks in the Middle Kingdom

The instant I saw the New York Times' piece on China's "minority theme parks"---Disneyland-like affairs highlighting the culture of China's 55 "ethnic minorities"---I  knew it would soon appear in the Chinese press. But how would it be reshaped to render it politically correct for the masses, I wondered? Quite differently than I expected, frankly. The report has … Continue reading Ethnic China Chic: “Minority” Theme Parks in the Middle Kingdom