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Stories and insights from Comsumerland with Chinese characteristics.

In defense of bad education

In defense of bad education

Creativity education in China is a controversial topic. Chinese creative education surely has its pros and cons, like anywhere in the world. A pro is the cheap cost of raw materials and relatively cheap cost of labor that allow Chinese designers and students to take risks and experiment. In Beijing, markets for DIY construction materials are everywhere in the city, and with some bargaining you can get anything you can think about for an unthinkably cheap price. A con is for sure the highly bureaucratic National Higher Education Entrance Examination, commonly known as 高考 Gaokao, the only criterion for tertiary...
Beijing, electronic music on the rise

Beijing, electronic music on the rise

Just a short forty years ago, China was gripped by the most severe setback and the heavy losses suffered during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution which paralyzed social and economic development throughout the nation. However, China‘s rapid economic growth in the last three decades and development of an affluent middle class, set the nation on the crux of a new cultural revolution. With a growing level of affluence, the Chinese people are beginning to explore individual interests in ways never before possible. Just like photography and tattoos, EDM is just an other new outlets for individuals in China to express themselves and establish their...
Chinese tourists, what are they looking for?

Chinese tourists, what are they looking for?

While in Milan more than half of the bars are owned by Chinese, and the second most common family name is not Colombo or Ferrari or Bianchi but 胡 Hu; other regions are struggling so much to attract Chinese visitors. This is the reason why on April 17 Marco Zambuto, the mayor of Agrigento, a small town in Sicily, got the brilliant idea [warning: sarcasm could have been involved] to produce the video below. He stands in front of The Valley of the Temples, and invites Chinese tourists to literally Inundate Sicily. The video is in Italian, and comes with Chinese subtitles. At the end of the video the mayor even...
Young punks and flowery monks

Young punks and flowery monks

Only ten years ago policemen in certain areas of China would question young men with tattoos since they were usually regarded as punks looking for trouble. But today, like photography, tattoos are a way for Chinese people to express their personal emancipation and hopes about life. With a rising middle class, the Chinese have more disposable income than ever, giving them the ability to spend more on leisure and personal expenditures such as body art. While American tattoo culture has evolved over the last 150 years, from the sailors and soldiers who marked their skin as a rite of passage...
Why do Chinese love photography

Why do Chinese love photography

If you’ve ever been to China you should know how Chinese are crazy about photography. It’s not just a stereotype depicting Chinese tourists in Europe snapping thousands of photos in a day; it is the truth. In my college years in Tsinghua I was amused by the number of SLR cameras my classmates had, all of which costed at least twice the country’s average per capita income. With my 400 euros Olympus I was their joke. A few years back a meme appeared on the Internet: “摄影穷三代,单反毁一生” literally “third poor photographers generation, reflex cameras ruin lives”, and a photo of a...
China bridge-blogs

China bridge-blogs

China bridge-blogs are those blogs that give insights, analysis, opinions and news about China to a foreign audience, and before I start annoying you with my own stuff, I wish to write about my favorite ones, those I have been reading in the past six years. This list does not pretend to be the cream of the crop of the Chinese blogosphere, instead simply represent my tribute to a huge source of valuable knowledge. Of course there are many, many other valuable Blogs, but I enlisted only the ones I am familiar with. At the moment of writing I am in Vicenza,...