China Cracked

China Cracked

China Cracked is an exciting new book that tells you all about Chinese culture and traditions.

Now that China is poised to be the leading nation on Earth, everyone needs to know more about this unique civilization. It was Napoleon who warned us ‘when China wakes up she will shake the world’. Chinese culture and traditions are so surprisingly different to our own that we continue to stumble into mutual incomprehension.

China is such a massive subject that attempts to take a broad sweep at it end up as heavy-going histories - not everyone’s cup of cha. So, by way of antidote, I aim to inform and entertain with an eclectic collection of up to 200 self-contained topics, each in a separate entry of no more than 200-500 words, arranged A-Z and cross-referenced.

Entries for China Cracked so far include: Acupuncture, Age, Bamboo, Cats, Chess, Chinoiserie, Clapping, Concubines, Confucius, Dragons, Elements, Emperor, Eunuchs, Everest, Examinations, Face, Feng Shui , Feet, Foxes, Gardens, Great Wall, Hair, Inventions, Jade, Kiwi fruits, Kowtow, Kung Fu, Language, Lotus, Mandarin, Names, North and South, Numbers, Old and New, Opium, Panda, Paper, Qi, Queen and Empress, Red, Rhubarb, Romans, Silk Road, Sixty, Swastika, Topsy-turvy, Torture, Windows, Writing, Yellow, Yi Jing (I Ching), Yin and Yang and Zhongguo (China).

The content exposes some surprising topsy-turvy conventions in China. For example: wearing white not black at funerals; hats worn indoors not taken off; gardens on the inside not outside of houses; clapping in order to drive out demons not to show appreciation; south not north at the top of maps; writing from right to left not left to right; family names first not last and meals starting with fruit and ending with soup. The book explains these and many more contrary traditions. The entries demonstrate either:

Our increasing interaction with China has not kept step with our understanding of its traditions and culture. This imbalance will soon expose a general ignorance that, considering the myths and misunderstandings around, will appear insensitive and sometimes offensive. As the Chinese say: “It is foolish to avoid a pit in the ground only to fall into a well.” 避坑落井 bì kēng luò jǐng. I have avoided so-called facts that are not backed up by more than one reputable source.

Here is a part of the book sample. Please feel free to contact me for further information about China Cracked.

China Cracked sample

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