Jul 1, 2018

Happy Dragon Boat Festival 2018

Celebrating Chinese holidays with kids!

In my mind, Dragon Boat Festival — or duanwujie, as it’s called in Chinese — is a somewhat nebulous festival. I mean, to some extent, I’m going to view all Chinese holidays from a remove, because they are often family activities, and my family isn’t here. Our first year here, our friend took us to a boat race, fed us zongzi and told us the story of Qu Yuan, and in the years since then, we’ve pieced together more of the story. But this year, by virtue of working in a kindergarten, where they are passing all this stuff on to the next generation, I got to see some customs that I hadn’t before had access to. A lot of rituals that have to do with keeping the body healthy and safe. And, my colleague Katherine came out to explain the holiday on video for all us waiguoren.

The biggest thing I learned — that after the fact seems totally obvious — is that Chinese holiday celebrations can be quite personal. They vary from region to region, and even from family to family. To that point, in the video, Katherine conflates two stories that are both part of the origin story of duanwujie — Qu Yuan, poet, and Wu Zixu, king’s advisor. They are both men who died by suicide in a river, according to lore, and are somehow connected with the holiday. Regardless, I’m beginning to think that neither of them are actually all that central to the holiday as it is actually celebrated by real people; every time a Chinese person has shared with me their legends, it’s because they looked something up on the Internet. Not because it was something connected to something they or their family did.

Anyway, next year, I’ll probably learn even more about it. Including that I was wrong about everything I concluded this year.

Jun 29, 2018

How to look like a foreigner

Uncle’s Shorts #18

Here, I pontificate on the most diverse letter, and decide who looks more Chinese between Peter and me.

Jun 29, 2018

Live stream #2

Still not perfect, but much better!

We’re getting a little better at the live stream.

Jun 16, 2018

Hot bowl challenge

Foreigner vs. Hot Pot

Hot pot is the real sport of kings. Watch me eat soup. Marvel at the spice.

Jun 13, 2018

New Xiaomi 6 Chinese phone and a squat toilet

Uncle’s Shorts #17

So basically this week I got a new phone — a Xiaomi 6! — and I dropped some stuff into my squat toilet. An average week in China.

Jun 13, 2018

First YouTube live stream

A learning experience

Because we never met a challenge we didn’t like, Hello Uncle Foreigner is taking on the live stream. We had a few technical glitches in our very first one, but we’ll get it right soon enough!

Jun 10, 2018

Happy Children’s Day 2018

Let’s dance!

We celebrated Children’s Day this year with a blowout, school-wide performance. Theme: 12 animals of the zodiac. Fun: as much as you can have at a children’s dance recital.

Jun 10, 2018

The saga of fixing my iPhone 5

Including a few trips to Computer World

Phones are a very tricky species. I recently had to take mine in to good old Computer World to change the battery. But we’ve got friends in high places.

Jun 4, 2018

Buying fruit and saving the environment

Uncle’s Shorts #15

Luzhou has such wonderful fruit, really all year round. And sometimes the grocery store gets environmentally minded about it.

Jun 3, 2018

June is Pledge Month for Hello Uncle Foreigner on YouTube

So SUBSCRIBE already!

Ever wonder how we do what we do? Our “Please Like Us” video introduces you to the world of Whoop wu studios: our staff, our equipment, our process. It’s fun making videos about living in China, but it’s also hard work.

So we are looking for more eyeballs! All this month, on YouTube, we have some special subscriber incentives:

  • First-commenter incentive: A fortune cookie fortune.
  • Subscriber incentive: Tote bags — go get a tote bag out of your closet, and write our logo on it!
  • All-commenters incentive: A sense of satisfaction and sophistication.
  • Like-a-video incentive: A baby in China will learn one word of English.

Subscribe today, you’ll be glad you did. Or we will be glad you did … someone will be glad you did. And, tell a friend, maybe?