Spring in My Mind…

Apr 18th, 2010 by Si Si Posted in Culture | no comment »

Spring is my favorite season throughout the year when I was in Beijing. In my childhood memory, spring in Beijing means a brand new beginning of the year. After a long long winter, everywhere seems to regain its spirit. I remember when I was a kid, I used to insist on wearing a pink dress with flower patterns on it, and kept on spinning around from the same spot. Read more »

Health Care for Everyone?

Apr 14th, 2010 by Tracy 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 more »

Lesson 7 – Set up time (约时间)

Apr 5th, 2010 by Ms. Hou Posted in Lessons | no comment »

Lesson’s Main Characters:

Julie Chen – Teacher, Chinese
Helen Li – Student, American

Conversation Situation:

In this lesson, Julie asks Helen out for a movie, and set up a time to meet up… Read more »

Lesson 6 – How have you been? (你最近怎么样?)

Apr 5th, 2010 by Ms. Hou Posted in Audio, Lessons | one comment »

Lesson’s Main Characters:

Julie Chen – Teacher, Chinese
Helen Li – Student, American

Conversation Situation:

Do Chinese people really say “Ni hao ma (你好吗?) to greet their friends? In this lesson, Julie and Helen use an alternative way to greet each other… Read more »

Lesson 5 – Hobby (你喜欢做什么?)

Apr 4th, 2010 by Ms. Hou Posted in Audio, Lessons | no comment »

Lesson’s Main Characters:

Julie Chen – Teacher, Chinese
Helen Li – Student, American

Conversation Situation:

In this lesson, Julie and Helen talk about their hobbies… Read more »

The Hot Roasted Chestnuts

Apr 2nd, 2010 by Si Si 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 more »

Eat Healthy, Live Happy

Apr 1st, 2010 by Tracy 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 more »

It’s All About Parenting.

Mar 18th, 2010 by Tracy 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 more »

Following the old rules…

Mar 16th, 2010 by Si Si 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 more »

Another Tea Tip=)

Mar 15th, 2010 by Si Si 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 more »