The Danwei Community

Last week, we received the terrific news that Wuhan, a city that I and many others around the world have been cheering on for months, has officially come out of quarantine. As I watched some videos during the quarantine period, the organized volunteer help in local compounds really demonstrated to me how China’s old-style residential living have come in useful during this time of crisis. Known as the Danwei community, this remnant of the Communist Era had still been the prevalent style of living in China until the early 1990s, and it was very much part of the first dozen years of my life.


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Cheeseburger Jiaozi

Usually, “fusion food” is a worrying term for me. However, having come across the cheeseburger dumpling, it seemed like a dongsi recipe that could work well, so we tried making them at home.


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Tientsin Mystic: A Review

I really enjoyed Tientsin Mystic back in 2018 and wanted to wait for a suitable occasion to write about it. Now that we’re in Novel Coronavirus lockdown, I am, as usual, working my hours in publishing, as well as being in the middle of a Chinese culture project, in this case, my new book. However, apart from staying in and social distancing, looking after your mental welfare, is something that I can use my particular skills to contribute to. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the series, but this means I can write about the salient themes that have stood the test of time, without spoiling much of the plot.


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The Philosophy of Chinese Music Part 1: Zhi Yin Culture in The Untamed

If you like your Asian historical dramas, Eastern magic fantasy, or Kungfu shows, you’ll have seen, or been watching, or at least heard of, The Untamed. With gorgeous costumes, props, sets; fantastic script, filmography and storyline, a great cast, and queer representation to boot, no wonder this mainland Chinese series, an unexpectedly domestic hit, has also achieved unprecedented global popularity. Originally a Xianxia (genre featuring humans interacting with supernaturals) web novel named Modao Zushi by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu, the series is steeped in Chinese culture. One of the central themes that really stands out is the multiple roles of music in the story. (Heads up, this article contains spoilers). 


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Five Fabulous Chinese Goddesses: Tian Hou

Even though China’s pantheon is mammoth, there does tend to be more male deities than female, it’s an imbalance I’ve tried to redress in my book. For Chinese goddesses are fabulous indeed, they come in many types – deities of the elements, the trades, protectors, creators. Most of the Nü Shen, Chinese for female deity, are very powerful. They also have amazing stories, and are some of China’s oldest supernatural beings. In this mini-series I write about 5 of them.


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Five Fabulous Chinese Goddesses: Lei Zu

Even though China’s pantheon is mammoth, there does tend to be more male deities than female, it’s an imbalance I’ve tried to redress in my book. For Chinese goddesses are fabulous indeed, they come in many types – deities of the elements, the trades, protectors, creators. Most of the Nü Shen, Chinese for female deity, are very powerful. They also have amazing stories, and are some of China’s oldest supernatural beings. In this mini-series I write about 5 of them.


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Five Fabulous Chinese Goddesses: Hou Tu

Even though China’s pantheon is mammoth, there does tend to be more male deities than female, it’s an imbalance I’ve tried to redress in my book. For Chinese goddesses are fabulous indeed, they come in many types – deities of the elements, the trades, protectors, creators. Most of the Nü Shen, Chinese for female deity, are very powerful. They also have amazing stories, and are some of China’s oldest supernatural beings. In this mini-series I write about 5 of them.


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Five Fabulous Chinese Goddesses: Nü Wa

Even though China’s pantheon is mammoth, there does tend to be more male deities than female, it’s an imbalance I’ve tried to redress in my book. For Chinese goddesses are fabulous indeed, they come in many types – deities of the elements, the trades, protectors, creators. Most of the Nü Shen, Chinese for female deity, are very powerful. They also have amazing stories, and are some of China’s oldest supernatural beings. In this mini-series I write about 5 of them.


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Five Fabulous Chinese Goddesses: Xi Wang Mu

Even though China’s pantheon is mammoth, there does tend to be more male deities than female, it’s an imbalance I’ve tried to redress in my book. For Chinese goddesses are fabulous indeed, they come in many types – deities of the elements, the trades, protectors, creators. Most of the Nü Shen, Chinese for female deity, are very powerful. They also have amazing stories, and are some of China’s oldest supernatural beings. In this mini-series I write about 5 of them. 


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Chunwan 2020

It’s Chinese New Year eve. We all know what that means. After the big meal, there would be four hours of non-stop song, dance and comedy. Like a baptism by fire to being truly Chinese, the Chunjie Wanhui (Chunwan for short), has to be done. For all Chinese like myself who’ve grown up with it, sat through it during childhood, rolled our eyeballs at it over adolescence (when our parents still managed to get it over satellite), as we get older, it’s become a ritual that, no matter where in the world you are, and how you’re celebrating, brings you right back.


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