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Farewell Party for AYCer Sofia Goldberg

AYC is succeeding in its goal to provide a forum for meaningful exchange between Chinese and Western youth. It is exactly this understanding from one-on-one interaction and education that will improve relations between countries and nations in our increasingly globalized world.

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Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival

To the Chinese, there are three important meanings behind the Mid-Autumn Festival: 1) gathering, as family and friends reunite to celebrate, 2) thanksgiving, to appreciate the life-giving harvest, and 3) prayer, in order to bestow both blessings and good fortune upon parents, babies, and lovers.

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For Foodies Everywhere (but especially in China)

So, now you’ve been in China for about two weeks and you’ve had an inordinate amount of cafeteria food plus one or two lavish feasts at your new school. Where do you go from here? Well, if you want to cut your chops on the diverse cuisines that make up “Chinese food”, you should take a look at China’s Yelp: Dianping. If you don’t want to throw your gastronomical dreams to the winds of fate and your late night strolls around town, check out this site. 

For those of you who aren’t quite ready to navigate a website entirely in Chinese, these two guides will help you get where you want to go. 

http://beijingfoodbible.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/where-do-beijingers-eat-a-quick-dianping-tutorial/

http://www.lifeonnanchanglu.com/2013/12/unlocking-dianping-english-guide-to.html

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Teacher Tuesday: The Last Day

This year was a long one, but many of the awesome AYC participants have finished out their academic year! The above collage only showcases a few of the 150+ teachers spread throughout China with their students. Many have already left for their next journey, others are teaching farther into the summer, but one thing remains true: AYC is immensely proud of it’s inaugural class of Ameson Year in China!

Salute — the AYC Class of 2013-2014!

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Fact Friday: And Your Name Is?

Have you ever mused over the possible deep meaning of the choice English names your students chose? Have you ever wondered why your Chinese name sounds really strange when translated into English? Well below is an introduction to some of the more interesting naming practices. 

  1. How many names?: Historically, socially enfranchised individuals could have different names at different stages of their life and stylized versions of them for different uses. Sun Yat-Sen, the founding father of the Chinese Republic, had eight, not including a large number of pseudonyms used while in hiding.
  2. 1, 2, or 3?: In traditional China there was a strong emphasis on having as many children as possible. This led to some pretty large numbers of children that could sometimes be hard to keep track of. Enter the numbers. Using a number after a name indicates the individual’s position in line; in the case of Su Forty-Three, a famous rebel in the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) who seems to be pretty far down the list. A common usage today is referring to oneself relative to one’s brothers and sisters. The third child in a family would be called “old three.”
  3. You want me to be what?: In China, names express a parents desire for a child or describe characteristics the child may have. In rural settings, embarrassing physical features or associations are common. If a child doesn’t turn out just as the parents wanted, they may keep the name they planned on anyway. A tragic young male character in “The World” by director Jia Zhangke goes by the name “Maiden Number Two” because his parents had hoped that their second child would be a girl.

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Teacher Tuesday: Monique Costello

“I don’t think the magic has died down, really. Everywhere I go on campus, someone will run up to me and ask me how I am or say good afternoon. Many students are not afraid to just come up and ask me random questions, like, “Where are you from?” or “Do you have a boyfriend?”

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Things You'd Know: The Heihe - Tongcheng Line

Proposed in 1934 by geographer Hu Huanyong, the Heihe-Tengchong line is not China’s newest highspeed rail line, but an interesting artifact of human geography. This line divides China roughly into two halves  in terms of geographic area (57% to the West, 43% to the East), but nearly all the population - a whopping 94% - resides to the East of the line. 
Impressive though these numbers may be, what’s perhaps more impressive is that despite having a population density lower than all but 27 countries, the western half of China would still be the 16th largest country in the world by population, just below Germany. 

As you can see from the map, China’s population density is highly concentrated between the Yellow River (黄河) to the north and the Yang-tze River (长江)to the Souh, as well as along the coast. The large red spot just east of the line represents a very fertile agricultural area sometimes referred to as “China’s breadbasket” and includes the megacities Chengdu and Chongqing.  Most of China’s West is arid, high up in the mountains, or both, making it difficult to sustain dense populations.

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Old town of Lijiang

sillylaowai: nprfreshair: Sunrise in the old town of Lijiang, China. Photo by Trey Ratcliff via Twisted Sifter I want to go to there. A friend of the AYC program in Nanjing earlier this week stated, “the longer you stay in China, the more you want to see. It’s impossible to see it all.” As participants, like Victoria, begin the countdown back to the states it is common to attempt to squeeze in those last trips around China. We recommending going off the beaten track. That is how you find gorgeous places like Lijiang!

sillylaowai:

nprfreshair:

Sunrise in the old town of Lijiang, China.

Photo by Trey Ratcliff via Twisted Sifter

I want to go to there.

A friend of the AYC program in Nanjing earlier this week stated, “the longer you stay in China, the more you want to see. It’s impossible to see it all.” As participants, like Victoria, begin the countdown back to the states it is common to attempt to squeeze in those last trips around China. We recommending going off the beaten track. That is how you find gorgeous places like Lijiang!

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