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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A Touch of Sin: Talk Taster

As China began exporting its movies in the 70s and 80s, a cult of fandom grew around the kungfu and action films. From “36 Chambers of Shaolin” to “City on fire”, these films made a deep impression on young American filmmakers-to-be, most obviously Quentin Taratino, who took heavy Inspiration from these films for “Reservoir Dogs” and “Kill Bill”. However, inspiration between vibrant creative cultures becomes a conversation, and those elements Tarantino borrowed, were absorbed by a new generation of filmmakers in China, including Jia Zhangke. Jia has had an interesting career. Starting off making mockumentary-style films about petty criminals and China’s disaffected youth, and now having reached such critical acclaim that he has over 100 international awards and nominations. His films still deal with how ordinary people’s lives were affected by China’s rapid social change, and “A Touch of Sin” brings many of his themes together, to tell stories about outcasts and misfits, in a manner more akin to traditional Chinese storytelling. (First delivered for the Spring Festival screening at Genesis, London, 2019).


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