Episodes
Why is this cute little landscape in a container regarded as the highest level of art in China? Believe it or not, it represents your inner world.
Published 07/13/20
Why are mountains such a big deal to the Chinese? Why do most legends involve a summit of some sort? What are the “Five Great Mountains” in Chinese folklore and how’d they get this title?
Published 07/05/20
It is the longest river in China. It claims different names for its different parts. It has nurtured a variety of local cultures with distinctive characteristics from the upper reaches to the lower reaches. It is the Yangtze River. Let’s learn more about its past, present and future with Shen Ting.
Published 06/28/20
We dedicate a festival to him and commemorate him every year on the lunar May 5. Get ready for a story about China's first romantic poet, a patriot, and a reformer, Qu Yuan. What does this have to do with romanticism?
Published 06/23/20
As many of us literally survive on electric fans and air conditioners to go through the hottest days of the year, there are still some Chinese keeping the habit of using traditional handheld fans to provide a cool breeze on a hot summer’s day. How do we explain this behavior over the use of fans?
Published 06/14/20
Many states around the world possess their own mother rivers. And for China, the Chinese people almost have a consensus to give this title to the Yellow River, not simply because it boasts to be the second longest river in the country but also because it crades the Chinese civilization. Let's find out more with Shen Ting.
Published 06/07/20
You may have heard of time juggling or dream in a dream in the movie Inception, but do you know the Taoist philosopher Zhuangzi (3rd century B.C.) also touched the definitions of reality vs. illusion in his dream?  You may have read about Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, but do you know there’s almost a Chinese equivalence to that, which has also inspired one of the most famous orchestra music works appealing to western ears? These all have something to do with one insect – butterfly.
Published 06/01/20
When some say “Happy birthday” on that special day, we say “May you enjoy health and longevity”. Yes, some Chinese traditions for celebrating birthdays might seem novel to many outside of the culture. Here are some basics for understanding Chinese birthday celebrations.
Published 05/25/20
Standing at the end of the central axis of the ancient Beijing City are two tall buildings that have become landmarks in the capital. Such twin buidlings could be found in many cities and towns with long history around China. Called as the Bell Tower and the Drum Tower, they had been functioning for hundreds of year for the city management in ancient China. Let's hear what Shen Ting has to say.
Published 05/17/20
How come this incredible little insect became the symbol of "making the impossible possible"? In many cultures, bees represent the god of love. Many believe the spirit of bees is to live and learn, to love and care.
Published 05/10/20
If you ask someone from China “what do you think is the king of all flowers”, different people would probably manage to agree on one candidate. What is it, and why?
Published 05/03/20
Many people start learning the Chinese culture from reciting some famous Chinese poems, since China boasts a rich tradition of poetry throughout its history. To track the source of such a tradition, we’ll have to go back to two millennia ago when an ancient China classic was compiled, which cast great influence on the Chinese poetry, as well as on the Chinese culture and society.
Published 04/26/20
Published 04/26/20
For many Chinese people, tiger-head shoes are their first pair of shoes in life. Although it doesn't click together three times against the yellow brick road like what Dorothy does with her ruby red slippers, the tiger-head shoes still bring a strong sense of home.
Published 04/20/20
The Forbidden City is one of the most missed places to visit during the spring season of hope and life. Sadly, the much-loved tourist attraction has been temporarily closed to the public for more than 70 days due to the COVID-19 outbreak. However, despite everybody staying at home and practicing social distancing, millions of people were able to enjoy a dream-come-true virtual guided tour of this cultural relic in early April thanks to cloud live streaming. But what is it that makes the...
Published 04/09/20
Qingming Festival, mostly known as the Tomb Sweeping Day, is one of the most important traditional festivals in China. Usually in early April, the festival actually contains more meanings than the tomb sweeping for the Chinese people. To find out more about this ancient festival, let’s hear what Shen Ting has to say.
Published 04/02/20
According to the Five Elements of Chinese philosophy, spring is associated with the color green, the wood element, and the climate of wind. So we eat green vegetables, plant seeds, and fly kites. After a season of darkness and quietness, the spring equinox marks the beginning of spring. Let’s celebrate the time of rebirth.
Published 03/27/20
Turn to ancient Chinese wisdom for fun games to play if you want to take a break from the digital world. Families with young kids in particular would love them.
Published 03/19/20
Peach blossom is favored by the Chinese people not only because of its beauty, but also the cultural connotation it contains thanks to an article composed more than two millennia ago. And of course it won’t be just for the blossom that the plant of peach has been enchanting the Chinese for so many centuries. Shen Ting tells you more about it.
Published 03/12/20
Orchid, together with plum, chrysanthemum, and bamboo, are referred to as "The Noble Four" of plants, or the Four Gentlemen. Click to learn why orchid makes the perfect symbol of friendship, integrity, and nobility among all flowers in Chinese culture.
Published 03/05/20
Magpies don’t have the best of reputations, being known as the scavenger, predator, thief, attacker and even a sign of bad luck in some cultures. But folktales in China tell a different story about magpies that symbolize joy, good luck, happiness and fortune. Want to share a bit of magpie luck?
Published 02/26/20
An order of noodle, or a bowl of rice? That's a question. But, maybe not to the Chinese people - well, at least in the traditional impression about our dietary customs which goes like "northerners like eating noodles, while southerners prefer the rice." However, the real situation might not be so absolute and simple. Follow Shen Ting to explore more about Chinese people's choices on noodles and rice.
Published 02/19/20
Yes, of course! When Valentine's Day is around, a handkerchief with hand-embroidered mandarin ducks will make a perfect gift for love birds.
Published 02/15/20
During the Spring Festival holidays, the Chinese people pay visits or give New Year’s greetings to each other, which are not done as you wish but in accordance with some traditions and etiquettes. But please be noticed, this year’s Spring Festival is quite different to the Chinese people, due to the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan City. Some traditions to celebrate the Chinese New Year have to be dropped for now for the sake of health and safety. But I believe as soon as the epidemic passes,...
Published 02/03/20
What’s a holiday without the right food? Tender, juicy and plump, the Chinese dumpling—Jiaozi is considered by many a must-have for celebrating the Chinese New Year. You know why we love Jiaozi so much?
Published 01/24/20