In the spirit of bringing our students and our community closer to the Chinese culture and language, we started our series “Reader’s Corner” in which we publish some reading recommendations because the best gift you can give yourself on New Year is knowledge.
1. 1421 THE YEAR CHINA DISCOVERED THE WORLD. Gavin Menzies
Imagine all we were told by history was not as accurate as we thought. This is what Gavin Menzies proposes in his book.
As an officer in the British Royal Navy, Menzies was able to see many corners of the world in which he noticed subtle clues of China’s presence that dated a few centuries ago; this is why he decided to dig deeper into history to put together some loose ends. As the author went deeper, he did some interesting investigations to see how far the Chinese went in the past and how much technology they created to get there. While many historians have rejected Menzies’s theory, this book tells a lot of facts about China’s past and it definitely is a pleaser for the curious mind.
2. 101 STORIES FOR FOREIGNERS TO UNDERSTAND CHINESE PEOPLE.
Yi. S. Ellis and Bryan D. Ellis
We don’t intend to sound cheesy but this book is like an oasis in the desert of culture-clash daily life. Even though we think the title can have a second check-up in the “politically correct” department, we do thank both authors for sharing their experiences while facing a wide range of situations in China.
Both authors smartly arranged this book according to different contexts and the etiquette one should follow in order to be respectful of local customs. Whether it is at the office in a meeting with a Chinese client; a family reunion with your Chinese partner; gifts and superstitions… everything is on these pages.
While both books have different approaches, they are both a good complement to understand the local culture. What’s best, expats can use this information to navigate in China as smoothly as possible.
Have you read these books? What do you think about them? If you missed Part 2 of our Reader's Corner, you can read it now.
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