Language and Cross-cultural communication

Chinglish signWhich is more important? To study a foreign language or learn about its culture? I was asked this question after I gave an address to a group of young diplomates from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. My answer is simple: Both. This is not an either or question. Continue reading “Language and Cross-cultural communication”

Confucianism

confucius saysOne day following a lecture on Confucius, a student came up and asked me if he was a real person. I guess he was as real as Jesus Christ, I replied and much older. She thought that Confucius was a mythical figure. He certainly is not a mythical figure. He is still very much alive in fact in terms of the influence of his teachings. They affected billions of people from the Chopstick culture for thousands of years. Continue reading “Confucianism”

Sydney! Sydney! Oh, What A Chinese Feeling!

Sydney Opera HouseTo be in Sydney is to be in a foreign country if you had just arrived from Melbourne! I landed in Sydney a day before Chinese New Year a few years ago! The sun was blinding and the air was thick with promises of a hot summer night on its way! Staying in Sydney’s Chinatown is a wondrous feeling – fire crackers, smells of roast ducks and char siew, beautiful Chinese girls exposing midriffs and a sliver of swaying hip and awesome Chunks (read Chinese hunks) – it must be a foreign country, Can’t be Australia, not even, Little Burke Street in Melbourne. Sydney! Sydney! Continue reading “Sydney! Sydney! Oh, What A Chinese Feeling!”