What the Chinese Don’t Eat

ISBN: 009950152X
ISBN 13: 9780099501527
By: Xinran

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Genres

Asia Asian Interest Biography China Chinese Cross Reading Culture Journalism Non Fiction To Read

About this book

Xinran has been writing about China in her weekly column in the Guardian since 2003. This is a collection of those pieces that provides a unique perspective on the connection and differences between the lives of British and Chinese people today.

Reader's Thoughts

Sue

Articles reprinted from her Guardian column. Each one about 3 pages in length - sharp and to the point. Did I learn a lot about China and the Chinese! She comes across as a lovely, lovely lady - so full of care and concern for her fellow humans.

Débora

Eu já falei da autora, a chinesa Xinran, na resenha de outro livro viajante As boas mulheres da China. Ela era uma apresentadora de rádio que resolveu dar voz aquelas que não tinham voz para expressar seus sentimentos, dividir suas dores e espalhar suas opiniões.Ela teve que praticamente fugir para a Inglaterra para publicar seu livro e para que as histórias destas mulheres pudessem ganhar o mundo. Assim ela vai viver em um mundo completamente novo e desconhecido pra ela, com costumes malucos e arte incompreensível para sua mente e orientações chinesas. Alguns anos depois, já estabelecida neste novo país, ela começa a escrever colunas para o jornal inglês The Guardian, contando curiosidades, costumes e diferenças de sua ancestral terra natal.Há várias referências ao seus livros anteriores As boas mulheres da China e o romance Enterro Celestial - romance no qual ela descreve a jornada de uma mulher chinesa recém-casada em busca do marido dado como morto no Tibete.Não é um livro com forte carga emocional como As boas mulheres da China, já que se trata de apenas apanhados de crônicas para um jornal. Mas há várias curiosidades e discrepâncias entre o modo de viver chinês e o modo de viver ocidental. Há várias questões importantes para o povo chinês como a relação entre meias e status, as superstições, o valor da liberdade de pensamento e atitudes, as marcas que as várias revoluções deixaram na vida chinesa, principalmente das mulheres, os modos de compreensão e apreensão da Arte ocidental e oriental. E principalmente, como a China atual, com política de abertura lida com a crescente ocidentalização de suas vidas e cultura. Como preservar tradições milenares com o desenvolvimento vindo em direção como um trem desgovernado e sem freio?É um bom livro de curiosidades e relatos de uma chinesa, que vivendo tanto tempo no ocidente, talvez nem saiba mais o que é ser chinesa.resenha originalmente postada em: www.estranhomundinhoinsano.blogspot.com

Helmut

Made in ChinaWieder einmal ein Buch, das offensichtlich keiner im Verlag gelesen hat; anders kann man sich den zum Inhalt überhaupt nicht passenden Titel und Klappentext nicht erklären. Wer den Klappentext liest, denkt, er hat ein weiteres dieser flachen Klischeebücher vor sich, in dem sich über kulturelle Unterschiede lustig gemacht wird. Weit gefehlt.Die gesammelten Kolumnen der Journalistin Xinran aus dem "Guardian" lesen sich stellenweise komisch, mal melancholisch, mal traurig, mal alles zusammen. Selbst überfordert mit dem rasenden Tempo der Wandlung Chinas, lässt die Autorin Interviewpartner sprechen, sammelt Anekdoten und Erfahrungsberichte und kommentiert diese angenehm dezent. Ihre Hilflosigkeit ist manchmal fast schon komisch, wenn sie versucht, Unterwäsche "Made in China" zu erstehen und sie nirgends bekommt, oder die fußballverrückten Kollegen nachts um drei ihre Wohnung stürmen. Dabei verfällt sie nie in einen Weichzeichnermodus oder ein zynisches Zeigefingerwinken - die Thematik von Müttern und ausgesetzten Kindern ist ein roter Faden, der sich durch ihr Werk zieht; sie prangert an, ohne zu verletzen.Die Taschenbuchausgabe des Knaur-Verlags sticht neben der völlig unpassenden Titelgebung, einem unpassenden Cover und ebensolchen Textgestaltung mit dümmlich-exotisierenden Kapitälchen in den Kapitelüberschriften durch nichts hervor - Standardpapier und -bindung.Ein ruhiges und trotzdem mitreißendes Buch, das einem die selbstverständlich vorhandenen kulturellen Unterschiede zwischen China und Europa (und auch zwischen China damals und China heute!) näher bringt als die Panikmacher und die Hochjubler der Bestsellerlisten.Menschlich, sympathisch, lesenswert.

Deborah J.

I started reading this book the very day I returned from a (jazz) tour of China. I had read her 'China Witness: Voices from a Silent Generation ' before leaving. It's very insightful and even though 'What the Chinese Don't Eat' is from 2006, it helped me get a better understanding about the Chinese culture.Xinran seems to span both the Chinese and the Western culture, so anything she explains about China is from an 'insider' with 'Western eyes'. Her opinions and perspectives can be trusted because of that.

Nelson Lourenço

Um livro que aconselho, já li todos os livros desta magnifíca escritora e não para de me surpreender!!!Quotes:"It is easier to clean up the leaves than the roots". "Chinese Traditional view: "there are three sorts of unfilial behaviour, of which the worst is to have no heirs"."Life is hard enough already, if you don't iron out your own frown lines, nobody else will do it for you."‎"No matter how her life turns out, my love will live in her blood and my voice in her heart"."In the west, a kiss is just a kiss. If only that were true where I come from". The Chinese say: "everything starts from your foot" - unlike the english "from the bottom". "The past is what makes up the roots of today; we need it for our future."‎"Four students - from America, Europe, Africa and China - are asked by a journalist: "What's your personal opinion about the international food shortage?" The American replies:"What does international mean?" The European asks:"What is shortage?" The African asks:"What is food?" And the Chinese student says:"What do you mean by personal opinion?"‎"What the chinese eat": - Everything that flies in the sky which you can see, except airplanes; everything that swims in the river and the sea, except submarines; any four-legged things on the ground, except tables and chairs - that is what we eat"‎"At least our hearts are made in China".‎"children grow like plants - while the shape and form of the branch and its leaves may be very far from the roots, there is still a connection, through which they get support and mourishment""Once there were two women who never knew each other. One you do not remember, the other you call Mother. Two different lives shaped to make you one. One become your guiding star; the other become your sun. The first one gave you life, and the second taught you to live it. The first gave you a need for love. The second was there to give it. One gave you a nationality. The other gave you a name. One gave you a talent. The other gave you aim. One gave you emotions. The other calmed your fears. One saw your first sweet smile. The other dried your tears. One sought for you a home that she could not provide. The other prayed for a child and her hope was not denied. And now you ask me, through your tears, The age-old question unanswered through the years. Heredity or environment, which are you a product of? Neither, my darling. Neither. Just two different kinds of Love.""You can find kindness when you least expect it, no matter where you are.""We should leave hatred in the past: love and hope are for the future""Life looks different through different eyes" "When people ask me why I am lucky enough to have so many good friends and opportunities in my life, I answer that it is because I know a Chinese saying: you can't keep a fish alive in completely clean water. When something happens to me, I like to analyse why and what for; which is the fish, which is the water - and what do I want. If I want the fish that is happy in that dirty water, I try to live with the dirty water; if I need very clean water for something else, I have to give up the fish." ‎"If you are a man, don't say you like to eat tofu - "Ai chi dou fu" to your chinese friends - that means you like sex."A chinese philosopher once said:"A few right, soft words can match a thousand hard, powerful ones"

Lindi

The book is a collection of Xinran's columns written for the Guardian. I didn't find it to be insightful. Due to the nature of the book there was a lack of flow or continuity. Not recommended.

Penny

This is a collection of stories many about women of China written by a woman of Chinese descent who used to have a radio program in China and now lives in the UK and writes for The Guardian. They each shed some light on different aspects of Chinese culture and are interesting, baffling, genuine. I read Sky Burial by Xinran which I would most definitely recommend. That is a very touching story about a woman who goes to Tibet from Shanghai, I think, during the Cultural Rev to look for her new husband who she just married and wants to find and bring home. True story.

Maria (Ri)

I finished this one a couple weeks ago, but forgot to journal! I enjoyed the style of the short essays. I find reading about China to be fascinating on so many levels. I use Traditional Chinese Medicine in my naturopathic medical practice so getting more insight into daily life as opposed to just theory is great. The Chinese culture seems so very different from my own. Reading about Xinran's perspective gives me a greater appreciation for how wide the continuum of human experience is!

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