Text by Zhao Xuan
In many countries around the globe, Chineseculture is already irreplaceably infused in themainstream — various Chinese restaurantsabound while T-shirts with fanciful Chinesecharacters are seen frequently and martial arts clubsattract youngsters to the timeless practice. However,textbooks with simplified Chinese characters andhistory books from the Chinese mainland are rarelyfound in bookstores, let alone an institute specializingin interpreting modern China’s social phenomena.
As a result, some foreigners with interest in Chinaand Chinese culture have been embarrassed on certainoccasions: Some learned the Fujian dialect overseasbefore realizing their “Chinese” could not be understoodin major cities like Beijing or Shanghai; whilesome mistakenly assumed traditional Chinese characterswere the standard across the mainland, ratherthan simplified script.
In recent decades, along with economic reformand development, dramatic changes have taken placein China, which injected new vitality into Chinese culture.The world is increasingly focused on China, withaspirations to better understand the nation. But, aftera long period of isolation, China lacked elementsto represent its modern culture beyond its borders.“What on earth is genuine modern Chinese culture?” is a common question today. “How can I gain intimateunderstanding of it?”......