Jul 8, 2011

Reason Why I Love the China Daily #235

An announcement that 31 brands of water have been recalled for bacterial contamination without a corresponding list of those 31 brands.  It just underscores the extent to which eating anything in China is a game of Russian Roulette.  People take for granted that any number of things might be tainted, chemically infused, poisonous or even explosive.  Some folks will share their hints of how to choose what to consumer - never trust fruit, I’ve been advised, that’s conspicuously large, brightly and/or evenly colored and out of season.  I was at a banquette where people were raving about how brilliantly red the watermelon was, and I discretely threw my piece under the table.  It was only the week before that a batch of hormonally enhanced watermelons had spontaneously combusted in a market.

I am a grad student in Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz, currently doing research into marketing, branding and economic development in China. I’ve lived in China on and off (more off than on) since 1997. Before focusing on Capitalism at UCSC, I got a MA in Anthropology at Hunter College, where I researched the creation of the “Traditional Chinese Martial Arts” in Beijing and Shanghai in the early 20th Century, and in Late 20th Century New York City. I am currently a visiting scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

This blog is primarily to collect my thoughts about issues surrounding Capitalism, Economic Development and Contemporary China. I’m sure I’ll go off on tangents related to kung fu, philosophy, politics and all manner of things along the way. Bare with me.

Its called In Beijing for a couple of reasons. As an anthropologist going through grad school I had the idea that all speaking comes from a specific position, geographically, socially and culturally, drilled into my head enough that I can’t call my blog something grandiose like “Understanding the Rising Dragon”. I have only one piece of the puzzle, and that’s all I can share with you - one that I hope is valuable, but which is limited to where I'm standing and the questions that I'm asking. And that’s how my calligrapher friends sign their calligraphy… with their name, the year, and “In Beijing”. Subscribe via RSS.