/Culture
  • by Todd Crowell, with cartoons by Ming

    Of course there is no single Asian language. But plenty of vogue words from this booming continent are entering English.

    Did you know there is a flower named after former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il? The Chinese have a word – shengnu, literally leftover – for the new phenomenon of unmarried women over thirty. Can you tell your jeepney from your jilbab, or yakuza from the yellowshirts?

    These are just some of the hundreds of words that illuminate little corners of life and culture in a pan-Asian selection of keywords from the zeitgeist.

    Look inside this book Click on the following link to read pages from The Dictionary of the Asian Language. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. aaiiiyah! to Ayutthaya
  • by Charles Emmons

    Do the Hong Kong Chinese experience ghosts, hauntings, spirit mediumship, ESP and other paranormal phenomena just like people in the West? Or is their culture so different that the ghost accounts in this book will seem bizarre to anyone else?

    This classic presentation of cases is based on 3,600 interviews, questionnaires and observations in Hong Kong in 1980/81, updated by recent materials over 30 years later. Interestingly, in spite of clear influences from ancestor worship and Confucian/Taoist/Buddhist culture, parapsychological theories of apparitions from the West also apply to the Chinese cases.

    For this 2017 edition, Charles Emmons has revisited his earlier conclusions and added new material that has come to light in the intervening years. This book remains the only major cross-cultural study comparing Chinese with Western ghost experiences.

    Look inside this book Click on the following link to read pages from Chinese Ghosts. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. Strange Cases on Exhibit
  • by Michael Kohn Michael Kohn, former editor of the Mongol Messenger newspaper, is one steppe ahead of the journalistic posse in this epic Western set in the Far East. Kohn’s memoir of his time in Mongolia is an irresistible account of a nation where falcon poachers, cattle rustlers, exiled Buddhist leaders, death-defying child jockeys and political assassins vie for page one. A turf war between lamas, shamans, Mormon elders and ministers provides the spiritual backdrop in this nation which had only just been liberated from Soviet rule. From the reincarnated Bogd Khaan and his press spokesman to vodka-fuelled racing entrepreneurs and political leaders unclear on the concept of freedom of the press, Kohn explores one of Asia’s most fascinating, mysterious and misunderstood lands. “Genghis Khan may have stormed across the steppes seven centuries ago but Michael Kohn has probably covered nearly as many miles around one of the world’s most remote and untamed nations.” — Tony Wheeler, founder, Lonely Planet Look inside this book Click on the following link to read pages from Dateline Mongolia. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. Chapter 1 - The Frozen Capital
  • by Fred Schneiter Are the Chinese really so inscrutable? China Hand Fred Schneiter delves into the lighter side of Chinese psychology, and in doing so demystifies one of the toughest markets in the world. With an unfailing sense of humor, he offers insights for Sinophiles, Sinophobes and everyone in between. On the Hong Kong bestsellers list for twelve months, this book is now back in a new edition — the essential item to pack in your China survival kit. "Everyone working with Chinese, in or out of China, should read this and send a copy to their boss." -- Daniel Ng, managing director, McDonald's Hong Kong/South China "Should be required reading for everyone setting out for China for the first time. Lighthearted and highly readable." -- Donald M. Anderson, president, US-China Business Council Look inside this book! Click on the following link to read pages from Getting Along with the Chinese. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. Prologue and Chapters 1 & 2
  • by Clare Baillieu and Betty Hung

    Hong Kong Unveiled is an "access all areas" pass into Chinese culture and customs. Though written with a Hong Kong slant, it applies to any Chinese community worldwide. Invited to a Chinese wedding or business function and don’t know the correct form? This book will lead you through the minefield where an innocent mistake could see you lose your friend or your business connection. Want to change a run of bad luck? Or are your jokes falling flat with your Chinese friends? Find out how and why in this far-ranging book – which also explains how many seemingly strange customs came about. Look inside this book Click on the links to read pages from Hong Kong Unveiled. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. Introduction   Mistranslations   At the restaurant
  • by Andrew S. Guthrie

    As a youth in Saigon's Chinatown of the 1960s and '70s, Paul Au was greatly affected by American "hippie" culture and Rock and Roll. He was smuggled into Hong Kong in 1974 to escape the South Vietnamese military draft.

    At first living in rooftop squats, he started to trade used vinyl records on the streets of Sham Shui Po, and finally established an underground reputation for his eclectic blend and unending supply of recorded music.

    This full-colour book uses sample records and sleeve art to depict the evolution of popular music in Hong Kong since the 1970s, and describes the down-to-earth part of Kowloon, with its walk-up buildings and street markets, that Paul Au has become synonymous with.

    "Paul's Records solidifies Andrew Guthrie's status as the most perceptive, and astute, observer of the lingering appeal of recording and cassette culture in post-colonial Hong Kong." – Giorgio Biancorosso, Department of Music, The University of Hong Kong "Paul's Records is a gift to Hong Kong and to anyone who wants to know more about the unique worlds that thrive in its crowded spaces." – Greg Girard, author of City of Darkness: Life In Kowloon Walled City
  • Author and editor: Maisie J. Meyer, with a foreword by Irene Eber A compilation of 26 biographical accounts from the entire spectrum of Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jewish society offers fresh insights into a remarkable community that lived through the crossroads of China’s 20th-century history. Using previously unseen diaries and archival material, Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jews documents the rise and fall of larger-than-life personalities who witnessed the Sino-Japanese War, the Occupation of Shanghai and the Communist Party’s rise to power. Photographs illustrate the life and times of these individuals and the magnificent, cosmopolitan city they called home. Look inside this book Click on the following links to view sample pages from Shanghai’s Baghdadi Jews. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. Foreword  Sample photo pages
  • by Nicole Chabot and Michael Perini Hong Kong is famous for its bustling streets. In this book we hear from two dozen real people who provide its outdoor colour. We meet a flower seller, a street musician and a tram driver; a bouncer, a shoeshiner and a gas canister delivery man; a site foreman and a lifeguard; one man who climbs bamboo scaffolding for a living, and a woman who ferries visitors around the harbour on a sampan. These are the working people who are always seen but rarely heard, and in this book they tell their life stories in their own words. Sharp black-and-white portraits immerse the reader in the dynamic streetscape of Hong Kong. Look inside this book Click on the links below to read pages from Street Life Hong Kong. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. Contents   Tony Tam Kwok-Chiu, Assistant foreman   Chu Yin-Ping, Sampan tour guide
  • by Annabel Jackson and Linda Chia From the yaks which graze at altitudes so high that vegetables cannot grow, and the paradise of Shangri-La; through the flower markets of Kunming, the dramatic tea terraces of Pu-er, and forest floors covered with wild mushrooms; to the tropical south where market stalls brim with brilliant red chillies and shimmering purple eggplants. Yunnan, an exotic land of former kingdoms which borders Tibet, Sichuan, Burma, Vietnam and Laos, is the most bio-diverse province in China. It is quite possibly the most beautiful part of the country, and also the most culturally rich. Each ethnic minority has its own distinct cooking ingredients, aromas and flavours – all brought together for the first time in this unique cookbook.
  • by Jason Y. Ng, with illustrations by Lee Po Ng Author and blogger Jason Y. Ng has a knack for making the familiar both fascinating and funny. Three years after his bestselling début HONG KONG State of Mind, the razor-sharp observer returns with a sequel that is bigger and every bit as poignant. No City for Slow Men is a collection of 36 essays that examine some of the pressing social, cultural and existential issues facing Hong Kong. It takes us from the gravity-defying property market to the plunging depths of old age poverty, from the storied streets of Sheung Wan to the beckoning island of Cheung Chau, from the culture-shocked Western expat to the misunderstood Mainland Chinese and the disenfranchised foreign domestic worker. The result is a treatise on Hong Kong life that is thought-provoking, touching and immensely entertaining. Look inside this book Click on these links to read pages from No City for Slow Men. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. Introduction   Horo-Logic   The Storm Cometh
  • Text by Nicole Chabot, pictures by Ira Chaplain What do "Deep water pier", "Nine dragons city" and "Mandarin's lake" have in common with "Wong Tai Sin", the name of a Taoist deity? They're all districts in Kowloon. This book is an exploration of what is often seen as Hong Kong's shadow-side, from the viewpoints of community, consumerism, art, food, fashion and sex – 15 years after the handover. Scores of colour photographs bring the peninsula to the reader in a salute to street culture and the ordinary and extraordinary people of Kowloon. Look inside this book Click on these links to view sample text pages from Kowloon: Unknown Territory. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. Introduction   Yau Tsim Mong: Multicultural kaleidoscope   Kowloon City: Little Bangkok
  • by Pop Soisangwan Western men are beguiled in their thousands by the enchanting women of Thailand. But many make poor choices when it comes to marrying women whose needs, habits and expectations are very different from their own, and a clash of cultures can ruin a romance. Who better to advise than a Thai woman herself? No topic is taboo as Pop Soisangwan offers insider knowledge on how to secure a successful match. Illustrated with humorous cartoons. Look inside this book Click on this link to view sample pages from Thai the Knot. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. What do Thais think of you?
  • by Murray Gunn Wedged deep in the Himalaya between India and China, the secretive kingdom of Bhutan guards its independence while around it, Sikkim and Tibet have been swallowed by the giants and Nepal is rife with unrest. Bhutan markets itself as the last Shangri-La, but a closer look reveals the turbulence that accompanies its efforts to join the Western world. Murray Gunn and his French wife came to love and better understand Bhutan while living there for two years — but risked their marriage in the process. A travel memoir of discovery and change. Look inside this book Click on this link to view sample pages from Dragon Bones. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. 11-19
  • by Todd Crowell Walking is the best way to get to know any city, and Macau — the former Portuguese colony returned to China in 1999 — is made for walking. Only seven miles square, one can easily walk from the Border Gate to the A-Ma Temple at the tip of Macau in a day. This guidebook describes eight routes around the urban peninsula and its outlying islands, sufficient to explore and understand this fascinating old city and its unique blend of European and Asian architecture, cuisine and cultures. “An invaluable pocket guide that is perfect for the first-time visitor as well as old hands.” — South China Morning Post Look inside this book Click on this link to view sample pages from Explore Macau. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. Walk 3
  • by Annelie Rozeboom Why does the issue of Tibet rouse such passions on both sides? And is there any way to find common ground? Chinese-speaking journalist Annelie Rozeboom worked as a foreign correspondent in China for ten years. During that time she was able to interview numerous Tibetan people inside and outside Tibet, as well as Chinese residents, Western observers and the Dalai Lama himself. As these people explain their life stories, it becomes clear to the reader why they think the way they do. The book also shows how history washed over this remote kingdom and how the Tibetans and the Chinese came to take such opposing positions. Waiting for the Dalai Lama is a uniquely valuable book which approaches the emotive issue of Tibet from all angles. Look inside this book Click on this link to view sample pages from Waiting for the Dalai Lama. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. Chapter 1
  • by Jason Y. Ng, with illustrations by Lee Po Ng Hong Kong is a mixed bag of a city. It is where Mercedes outnumber taxi cabs, partygoers count down to Christmas every December 24, and larger-than-life billboards of fortune tellers and cram school tutors compete with breathtaking skylines. HONG KONG State of Mind is a collection of essays by a popular blogger who zeroes in on the city’s idiosyncrasies with deadpan precision. At once an outsider looking in and an insider looking out, Ng has created something for everyone: a travel journal for the passing visitor, a user’s manual for the wide-eyed expat, and an open diary for the native Hong Konger looking for moments of reflection. Look inside this book Click on this link to view sample pages from HONG KONG State of Mind. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. Kowloon Complex
  • by Michael Kohn Danzan Ravjaa (1803-1856), officially known as the Fifth Noyon Incarnate Lama of the Gobi Desert, is perhaps Mongolia's most beloved saint. The Fourth had caused so many scandals that the Manchu Emperor banned his reincarnation. Consequently, when the young child was enthroned as the Fifth, the Emperor issued an edict of execution on the boy and all associated with the event. The child was only saved by the personal intervention of the Panchen Lama and a letter of appeal from the young Ninth Dalai Lama. Their efforts proved well worthwhile, for the boy went on to become one of the greatest mystics and creative geniuses of 19th-century Mongolia. Lama of the Gobi is an investigative account of the life and times of this extraordinary man. It takes the reader on a journey through Mongolian history, Tibetan Buddhism and the traditions of nomadic culture, to generate an appreciation of the man and the legends that surround him. This revealing story winds its way from Danzan Ravjaa’s mythic past until the present day – as the people of the Gobi Desert still faithfully maintain his cult-like status. Look inside this book Click on the below link to view sample pages from Lama of the Gobi. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt.  Preface & Introduction
  • by Graham Earnshaw What kind of people would you meet if you decided to walk across the world's most populous country? The Great Walk of China is a journey into China's heartland, away from its surging coastal cities, where the ripples of prosperity are only just beginning to be felt and many find themselves left behind. Through his conversations with the people he meets along the way, the Chinese-speaking Earnshaw paints a portrait of a nation struggling to come to terms with its newfound identity and its place in the world. Our wandering guide never backs away from sensitive and sometimes uncomfortable topics, and captures the essential kindness and generosity of the Chinese people with brilliant clarity. Look inside this book Click on the following link to view sample pages from The Great Walk of China. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. Prologue
  • by Kirsteen Zimmern No one represents diversity better than Eurasians – those individuals with a mix of Caucasian and Asian heritage. Once a source of shame, the Eurasian face has become the face that sells. It is the face with which everyone can identify. In an ever-shrinking world, the search is on for a one-size-fits-all global image. Eurasians have become the world’s poster boys and girls, much sought after as actors and models. Taking advantage of increasingly tolerant times and the growing commercial and cultural exchanges between East and West, Eurasians have gained prominence as entrepreneurs, professionals and athletes. This book of interviews and black-and-white portraits reveals how seventy Eurasians of diverse backgrounds see their place in the world today. Kirsteen Zimmern is a photographer of Chinese and Scottish ancestry. She has always been fascinated by the tell-tale signs of East and West in the faces of fellow Eurasians, and has found this fascination to be widespread: few days go by without strangers examining her appearance to discern her ethnicity. She lives in Hong Kong. Look inside this book Click on the below link to view sample pages from The Eurasian Face. You will need a pdf reader to view this excerpt. Pages 48-59
  • by Jonathan Chamberlain, with a foreword by John Blofeld

    Chinese gods: Who are they? Where did they come from? What do they do?

    Chinese folk religion is the underlying belief system of more than a billion Chinese people. Go into any Chinese home, office or restaurant and you will see altars, statues or paper ‘good luck’ images. And wherever there is a Chinese community there are temples and Earth God shrines. But what is the religion that makes sense of all these expressions of belief? How do these beliefs connect to Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism?

    Chinese Gods helps us understand the building blocks of this religion for which even the Chinese have no name – because the beliefs are so intertwined with language and culture they have no independent existence – and provides an in-depth analysis of 19 of the major gods of the Chinese pantheon.

    Look inside this book Click on the links to view sample pages from Chinese Gods. You will need a pdf reader to view these excerpts. 

    Contents & Preface  Kuan Ti

  • Compiled by Alexandra Pearson and Lucy Cavender Beijing: Portrait of a City is the shared work of some of the city's finest writers who lead us through ‘hutong’ alleys, antique markets, artists' communities, gay bars, parks and the nostalgic streets of memory. They beguile with poems, amuse with camel anecdotes and thrill with two murder stories one a genuine antique, the other a fictional contemporary. They take us back to the often-ignored Mongolian roots of the city and project forward to ask whether spectacular modern architecture will suffice to return Beijing to what it sees as its ancient place at the centre of the world. The book interweaves its written work with a collection of wry and telling photographs of different aspects of the city, creating a compelling portrait of Beijing. The contributors including Zhu Wen, Adam Williams, Roy Kesey, Ma Jian, Alfreda Murck, Tim Clissold, Catherine Sampson, Peter Hessler, Karen Smith, Paul French, Michael Aldrich, Hong Ying and Rob Gifford, all published authors and experts in their field have spent many years living in Beijing and know it from the inside. Their individual contributions combine to leave a highly original and unforgettable impression of one of the world’s oldest and most fascinating cities.