Tag Archives: China

Beautiful video showcases cross-cultural love

News on TV can be pretty depressing, with stories of ethnic conflict and ongoing warfare. Thankfully, stories about cross-cultural relationships, such as AJ’s and Natalie’s, give us hope for humanity.  This mini-documentary shows two people from totally different worlds, defying the odds for the sake of love.

My favorite part is when AJ explains to his Chinese mom that his British-Spanish girlfriend, Natalie, is vegetarian.

“My mom’s first reaction was: ‘OK, she can eat chicken.’  I said, ‘No, no chicken.’  So she replied, ‘OK, fish then?”

In all seriousness, I gotta give props to Natalie for not only living in China as a vegetarian (not easy!) but for also mastering Mandarin (she busts out in Chinese at 4:35).

Film maker Jason Lee Wong created this as part of a series 10 mini-documentaries for the European Union in China.  Check out his other videos here.


76-year-old “basketball granny” makes 200 shots a day

Dang, nothing makes you feel more pathetic about your gym routine than seeing old people who are fitter than me.  Check out this video of  Zhu Shumei, a 76-year-old woman more affectionately known as “basketball granny.”  Despite living in poverty, she loves playing ball, and diligently goes to the local university to work out.  Not only does she make over 200 shots a day, bball granny also climbs poles and runs the track.

OK, so I guess maybe I will go to the gym today.

(Thanks, Chen!)

Like Eduardo Saverin, wealthy Chinese ditch US passports

Ten years ago, it was unheard of for immigrants to ditch their highly-coveted US passports.  But now, as the US enforces tax collection overseas, many wealthy Chinese immigrants are following the footsteps of Eduardo Saverin, the Brazil-born Facebook investor, who renounced his US citizenship earlier this year.  Last year, 1,780 Americans renounced citizenship.  In 2006, the number was a mere 280.

US law requires citizens and permanent residents to pay taxes on income, even if you don’t live in the US.  For rich mainland Chinese who immigrated to the US but have since returned to their homeland, the weighty tax bill often causes sticker shock.

“I regret it to death, all of my friends regret it to death,” said Wu, a 31-year-old housewife, about choosing to get US citizenship. “I’m never going back.”

Wu, who is only willing to disclose her last name, was unaware of tax implications when she got her US citizenship after graduating from college in the US.  She now lives in China and hasn’t been back to the US in 10 years.

It’s interesting to consider what’s causing this trend of repatriation for US immigrants.  I think part of the story is that some wealthy immigrants were admittedly overly casual about taking out US citizenship, which was, as the South China Morning Post put it, “the ultimate status symbol in China.”  On the other hand, the trend also reflects the growing economic power of China, a powerful incentive for Chinese immigrants to return home.


Creepy “hugging” jacket keeps you warm

Sometimes you just need a hug.  Or you could wear this jacket and you’ll feel like five people are holding you.  Si Leong Chan, who hails from Macau, China, designed this puffy parka to show” the loneliness by my experience.”  The jacket is still a prototype, but Chan wants to have it produced for sale by this winter.  Quirky fashionistas will have to fork out a hefty $1,280 for it though.

(Thanks, Hubie!)



“Grandma Lou,” a hero to 30 abandoned babies in China

Lou Xiaoying, an 88-year-old Chinese woman from the Fujian Province of China was recently hospitalized for kidney failure. Also known as “Grandma Lou,” she made a living by collecting and recycling garbage. Over the years, Lou found 30 abandoned children in garbage dumps, a sad result of China’s one-child policy.  To many, she is a hero.

Lou found her first abandoned child in 1972. She and her husband later on adopted three other abandoned girls as their daughters. Additional babies that they found were given to other families to care for. “I realized if we had strength enough to collect garbage, how could we not recycle something as important as human lives,” Lou says.

Although hospitalized, she’s surrounded by her loved ones, including the children she saved. “My mother has gotten better,” says Zhang Jingjing, one of Lou’s adopted daughters.

She’s truly an inspirational woman. Wishing her a speedy recovery!


(Thanks, Chen!)

Miss Philippines beatboxes like a champ

Although we’re stoked about Miss China winning the Miss World competition, I’m kind of disappointed that Miss Philippines didn’t place higher given the Southeast Asian’s unique talent.

Quenerich Rehman, 23, kept the audience in suspense when she was introduced by the judge as having “the first ever performance of this type in Miss World.” Her beatboxing talent was not mentioned and the audience was in for a surprise when she broke into beats after singing a slow ballad. She even beatboxed to Usher’s “Yeah” and Cali Swag’s “Teach Me How to Dougie.”

Other hopeful pageant contestants need to up their game. I want to see more out-of-the-box performances — perhaps a rap or even a comedic act.


Meet China’s real life Edward Scissorhands

I seriously think this guy is a genius, possibly paving the way to affordable prosthetic limbs.  Sun Jifa, a farmer in China, lost his hands when he was making a fishing explosive.  He couldn’t afford the prosthetic arms at the hospital, so he found another solution — he built his own.  Made of scrap steel, the metal arms use wires and pulleys controlled by his elbows.
Sun said the only downside is that it gets quite hot in the summer, and the metal can be quite heavy.  Check out the amazing pictures below of his highly functional hands.  “‘I made this from scrap metal for virtually nothing,” Sun said.  “There is no need to pay hospitals a fortune.”


Subway commercial from 200 BC

Before Jackie Chan, there was Bruce Lee.  And before Bruce Lee, there were these guys — old-school heroes with cat-like reflexes and the best evil laugh ever.  Check out this hilarious Subway commercial, featuring the new lobster sandwich set in drama of feudal China. I doubt Jared a.k.a. The Subway Guy could do a better job selling!

The globalization of sports in one Nike commercial

There’s a new Nike commercial out that’s pretty sweet. In the video, we see a kid from China and one from the US  falling in love with the sport of basketball, and then it goes on to show their different paths to the NBA. Along the way, we see the gradual formation of their rivalry but mutual respect for each other’s game. This exemplifies the best of sports — it shows that no matter where you come from, if you practice hard and have the talent, people will respect you for what you do on the court. It’s a competition of your abilities, not anything else. It also goes to show that at the heart of it, kids born and raised in different countries are not so different after all.

(Thanks, Alex!)

US gymnast star wins all-around, with help from her Chinese-born coach

I admit I’ve been rooting for China during the Olympics, but one US gold medal got me pretty fired up. Gymnast Gabby Douglas won the US all-around gold, making her the first African-American woman to win the highest individual medal in gymnastics.  Gotta love the picture below, which came with the caption: “Gabrielle Douglas, the first African American woman to win the all-around gold medal in gymnastics, celebrating with Liang Chow, her Chinese-born coach.”

Liang Chow was on China’s national gymnastics team for more than decade, and was also the personal coach of Shawn Johnson, a gold medalist at the Beijing Olympics. After he moved to the US in 1990, he coached the men’s and women’s gymnastics teams at the University of Iowa. He now has his own training facility, the Chow’s Gymnastics & Dance Institute, in Des Moines, Iowa.  Chow, who is originally from Beijing, became an American in 2002.

(Thanks, RAMA!)