A digest of online China – November 3 – November 15

This column offers a weekly digest of the latests pieces published on our website and our most recently completed translations.

Singapore temple

New texts published

Poems from Singapore – various authors

On November 2, we ran our first Singapore all-you-can-translate event, on the side of Singapore Writers Festival. Discover the works of contemporary Chinese-language poets based in Singapore, translated by English-language local writers.

The rule of law is no small matter – Muran

Since the end of the cultural revolution, there have been repeated appeals to increase the rule of law in China – but so far, only limited steps taken to actually translate this discourse into concrete measures. This piece offers us an expert view on the complex question of rule of law in contemporary China.

It’s not just about Cool – China30s

China30s is a Shanghai-based online magazine offering portraits of young Chinese innovators from the post-80s ‘Sandwich Generation’. This piece is an interview with Madi Zhu, editor at new fashion magazine VICE China.

Freedom and religion – Zhou Baosong

This essay in four parts by Hong-Kong economist Zhou Baosong takes us back to the origins of the Western liberal tradition, and offers a Chinese perspective on the question of religious freedom.

Beijing, Beijing, thank you for being tender – Zhao Jianfei

Life in big Chinese cities is often described as stressful and harsh – so why not move away? Blogger Zhao Jianfei gives a local insight on the question – underlining Beijing’s tenderness, and the multiple attachments that, no matter what, make her prefer to stay.

Dead fire – Lu Xun 

A vision from the past – in this prose poem by Chinese literary idol Lu Xun, fire and ice come together.

New translations

China is a large and diverse place – but we often forget to what extent. We also forget how internal travel can be part of a Chinese person’s journey of self-discovery. In ‘Chengdu, blogger Wei Zhou invites us to join him on a journey through China’s Eastern capital – and reflect on our own relationship to history.

The Chinese language conflates the meanings of ‘home’ and ‘family’ in a single emotion-loaded word: 家. And every year, for the Spring Festival, driven by the power of this word, millions of people take to the road. In ‘Come back home‘, writer and academic Muran reflects on the meaning of home, mixing the personal with the universal in a breautiful lyrical piece.

‘Knowing what you want is the most important thing in life’. In this piece, ‘Reading the Bible: what do you want‘, Philosopher and religious thinker Li Yehang starts from an apparently minor passage of the Gospel to take us on a philosophical journey through contemporary China, exploring the dangers of unclear desire, and reflecting of the sources of inequality.

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