Archive for the Culture Category

Health Care for Everyone?

Apr 14th, 2010 Posted in Culture | no comment »

When I first learned that there were so many health insurance providers with various insurance plans, I felt totally lost. Most people receive health insurance through school or work, and as insurance plans vary, coverage levels can be very different. Having a health insurance plan does not mean you can just visit any hospitals or clinics – it all depends on the plan you have. Some hospitals and clinics only accept health insurance plans from certain providers, and the insurance plan decides the benefits you receive at the hospital and clinic. Read the rest of this entry »

The Hot Roasted Chestnuts

Apr 2nd, 2010 Posted in Culture | no comment »

Well, I was extremely lucky to find someone who sells roasted chestnuts(糖炒栗子) in a van, in Toronto(It’s been years that I haven’t had a bag of roasted chestnuts.)  I actually smell the chestnuts immediately before I approached the van…the smell combines with those old time Hutong memories in Beijing, plus the sweet scents from the chestnut itself…I remember I used to wait in lines to get a bag of hot roasted chestnuts; usually during the winter, this would be the most appropriate time to eat the chestnuts since they were really hot, and can helped to keep your hands warm. Read the rest of this entry »

Eat Healthy, Live Happy

Apr 1st, 2010 Posted in Culture | no comment »

What we eat reflects on our appearance and body image. I was talking with Ms. Hou the other day about a TV show in which the host travels to places where people have bad, ridiculous eating habits and teaches them how to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. In this episode the host visited an elementary school in a small town, and he was shocked to know that the school’s breakfast menu for them was frozen pizzas, French fires, and sodas. It was even more shocking that the kids didn’t seem to recognize any vegetables. All they knew and wanted to eat was fast/junk food. Almost every kid was over-weighed and many of them had health problems. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s All About Parenting.

Mar 18th, 2010 Posted in Culture | one comment »

There is this Korean show on TV in which the guests who are from different countries share thoughts on various topics related to cultural differences. In this episode I was watching the other day they had a discussion on parenting in different cultures. I found it interesting when some of the guests were saying how surprised they were to know Korean parents would share a bed and sleep with infants while parents in the western society have infants sleep separately from them in another room. Read the rest of this entry »

Following the old rules…

Mar 16th, 2010 Posted in Culture | no comment »

In Traditional Chinese culture, people used to celebrate New Year for the first month of the year. During this whole month, I assume people would enjoy big feasts with various dishes and tastes, sharing happiness with family and friends, for they have worked hard for the past year, and it is the moment to celebrate and wait for the sign of the Spring, when everything on earth is revived, and that means a brand new beginning. Read the rest of this entry »

Another Tea Tip=)

Mar 15th, 2010 Posted in Culture | 4 comments »

 We went to visit my husband’s uncle for the weekend, was a bit nervous since I’ve never met his uncle’s family. The last time when my husband saw them was like ten years ago, no wonder he couldn’t recognize none of his cousins when they hug us at the front door. We were invited for a short conversation with the whole family. Tea, of course is a very important part in Chinese Culture when chatting with the guests. As a new member to my husband’s family, especially for the very first time meeting a senior or an elder, pouring tea for him or her is considered as a symbol of respect. I was a bit embarrassed when I everyone was watching me poured tea in cups. I was told that it would be rude if pour tea in a full cup, so I stopped by the 3/4 from the edge. I have to say that Tea in Chinese Culture is a very attentive subject. Especially when having tea with elders, I have to pour tea for them whenever their cup becomes almost empty. I can imagine is a tough job for someone new to the culture…but when you get used to it, it will become fairly easy. =) Read the rest of this entry »

Can’t Live without A Car?

Mar 11th, 2010 Posted in Culture | 2 comments »

Every time I think of having to drive for almost two hours to commute back and forth to work every day, I already feel so tired and reluctant to do it. At first, it seems cool and fun to drive between two cities, but after a while you just start to feel the pain, and the torture continues. Especially during rush hours when the traffic is extremely bad, it is the worst. Not that I didn’t think of taking public transportation but it is almost impossible because it can waste relatively more time than driving to get to my destination. Of course there are public transportation systems. In big cities, public transportation is well-built and convenient, and people depend on it. Small cities or suburbs also have public transportation systems, but they are not really considered convenient – 30 minutes, or even an hour, a bus, and it may stop running after 7 pm or earlier. Not to mention that there are places where public transportation is totally unavailable. Read the rest of this entry »

Let the Tea Talk…

Mar 7th, 2010 Posted in Culture | no comment »

The beauty of Tea Culture is not only about slowing down the steps, but also about the people showing their respect to others while drinking. There are many “rules” during the tea in China. I have no ideas about those “hidden rules” at the beginning, but recently I paid key attention on those not too obvious gestures, so next time when I go back to China, I’ll have full confidence to have tea with others. =) Read the rest of this entry »

Craving for Authentic Chinese Food…

Feb 28th, 2010 Posted in Culture | no comment »

Sometimes we just miss homemade food. Chinese food can be found everywhere in the States, but it is the authenticity that makes the difference. We recently discovered a dumpling restaurant in our neighborhood where we could get not only dumplings with all kinds of stuffings but also many traditional Chinese dishes, such as green chives pancake (韭菜盒子), onion pancake (葱油饼), beef pancake (牛肉馅饼), marinated steamed bao (小笼灌汤包), raddish cake (罗卜丝饼), pot stickers (锅贴), bean paste crispy cake (豆沙酥饼), sweet or salty donuts (甜/咸蟹壳黄), and handmade noodles. Everything on their menu is made from scratch, and the food reminds us of our Moms’ dishes. It just feels very down home and welcoming. Read the rest of this entry »

Chinese New Year is Coming… It’s the Year of the Tiger!

Feb 10th, 2010 Posted in Culture | no comment »

Chinese New Year

This year’s Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) starts on February 14, the first day of the first month in the Chinese lunar calendar. Of all traditional Chinese holidays, Chinese New Year is the most important and longest. It is like Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year all wrapped into one, so it is also called “Spring Festival” as people celebrate from the Chinese New Year’s Eve (除夕 chú xī, meaning “Year-pass Eve”) until the 15th of the month. Read the rest of this entry »