From record-breaking growth rates to the smog of Beijing, China often makes the headlines for its economic rise and its environmental problems. But the country is rarely considered for its highest mountains, hot deserts, cold terrains, sceneries of outstanding natural beauty as well as plant and animal life on which China and the Chinese so greatly depend. The nature documentary series Wild China, a pioneering series capturing China’s spectacular array of creatures which inhabits the country’s most beautiful landscapes, aims to put that right. Wild China; Beautiful China weiterlesen
Qingdao (青岛), the coastal port city of in the eastern Chinese province of Shandong (山东省), is sometimes referred to as ‘China’s Munich’. This nickname is not just down to the German-looking Prince Hotel on the city’s pier, the Bavarian-style castle where Chairman Mao (毛泽东 Máo Zédōnɡ) stayed in 1957 or the railway station in its German Renaissance architectural style. It is very much informed by a beverage introduced by German and British tradesmen at the start of the twentieth century: beer. For Qingdao is today both home to the Tsingtao brewery (青岛啤酒 Qīnɡdǎo Píjiǔ) and a 16-day festival that is the closest thing that China gets to Munich’s Oktoberfest.
Culture Shock is defined as the feeling or perception of being in a place whose customs are far removed from those experienced at home. Reading up on a country prior to departure can do much to reduce the severity of the shock. The textual nature of travel guidebooks, absorbed with the eye, ensures for a visual glimpse into a country. And yet, visual readings of place cannot prepare the visitor’s ear for shock of the urban soundscape. This was true of my own acoustic experience of China: a cultural shock to the ear that no guidebook can prepare the visitor for. Soundscapes of Handan (邯郸) weiterlesen