Impressions from China

Since I am very much involved in the web movie project “conversations at the beginning of a new time” where we really try to start a global discussion on our future challenges, I focused last week a little bit on China – very first steps to approach this fascinating country.

I spoke to three people Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber, Joy Tang and Qiao Li – all of them gave me their very personal view on China. Please understand the following conversations as my attempt to get a better understanding of what China is.

I decided for the next year – soon to come – to spend some time in China in the big cities as well as in the country … the time has come:-)

Can We Learn To Applaud Each Other?

… this is Joy Tang’s most important question! I love it! And I hope we can …

I’ve met Joy this year in August at Makers Faire in Accra, Ghana. Together with 10 students from Taiwan, who spent a month in Winneba (about 50 km west of Accra), Joy was working for oneVillage Foundation. oneVillage Foundation, founded by Joy, is a global nonprofit organization using innovative approach to deliver the power of technology and information to people in the developing countries, giving them valuable tools for building better lives. She is active in sustainable education and development, promotion of indigenous culture heritage, creation of ecotourism as social enterprise and designing appropriate information and communication technology (ICT) devices and solutions to facilitate collaboration and learning.

We had a lot of fun in Ghana as you can see here and here and I felt like I have met Joy before. Without knowing each other but having common friends and interests within our virtual network we were immediately connected. And I am very happy that Joy is joining our “conversation” …
We did the entire conversation vis SKYPE, it was early afternoon in Germany and 9 pm in Taipeh, Taiwan.

China/”The West”: Embrace Cultural Differences …

… respect them and learn to live with them – says Ingrid Fischer-Schreiber. She describes herself as a freelance translator. freelance project manager, organizer, someone who likes to build bridges. Ingrid first went to China 1980, shortly after China opened its doors to the West. Since then she is traveling back and forth. Speaking the language fluently and diving deep into Chinese philosophy and culture – Ingrid has gained great respect on both sides. She is truely a bridge builder.

In our conversation she gives us a very emotional and personal view on China. Our topics are:

– media/censorship in China
– Internet access
– current discourses in politics and society
– what makes the Chinese culture so unique
– why we should learn more about China
– why we should embrace and accept cultural differences

Apologies for the less-than-ideal audio and video – we did the conversation via SKYPE! Ingrid is right now in Beijing, China.
And last in the row is Qiao Li, australian-chinese filmmaker. Qiao was born in China, left with his parents when he was four years old and returned after film school 3 years ago. Since then he is living in Beijing and trying to gain ground in the chinese film market.

5 thoughts on “Impressions from China”

  1. Interesting post. As a Westerner living in China for 7 years now, I am fascinated at the rate of change and constant drive for improving the physical surroundings. For example in the past few years Beijing has radically changed from pre to post Olympic city. Almost unrecognizable.

    Further, the social and political change is also evolving; the not so subtle online media blocking to the open media reporting of the Sichan earthquake…

    For me, life in China is wonderful and offers constant change

  2. REPLY:
    Dear Dr. McDougall, do you have any recommendations whom I can talk to to get deeper insights? Thank you!
    I wish you a happy and healthy 2010!
    Best, Ulrike

  3. REPLY:
    Ulrike,

    Happy to chat to you more and see if I can help you with some of my views.

    You can MSN me (mathew.mcdougall@gmail.com) or Skype (jarrahbear) and we can talk more.

    Regards
    Matt

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