China Expats and Culture Blog

Patrick Kim

Patrick Kim is an editor at TutorABC Chinese. He has a B.A. in East Asian Studies from UCSB, and has worked in China for 3 years. His hobbies are soccer, being outdoors, and studying Chinese.

Recent Posts

Baijiu: The World's Most-Consumed Yet Least Understood Alcohol

Patrick Kim | January 25, 2017

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Unlike tequila or vodka, baijiu (白酒 báijiǔ), which literally means "clear liquor," has yet to become popular in the West. To the unfamiliar palate, baijiu can smell and taste quite strong, and Dan Rather once compared its taste to "liquid razor blades." Baijiu has gained a bad reputation amongst Westerners who have been to China because of the way it is consumed in bouts at the banquets and celebratory dinners that are part of doing business in China. Baijiu is a complex drink that takes time for an unfamiliar palette to adjust to. However, if you can learn to appreciate its distinct savory flavor, it can make your experience at such occasions much more enjoyable and help you appreciate something of Chinese culture.

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Everything You Need To Know About The Year Of The Rooster

Patrick Kim | January 21, 2017

On January 27th, the largest annual migration in the world will take place as millions of people leave their area of work to return home for Chinese New Year, also called the Spring Festival (春节 Chūnjié). Starting the eve before the first day of the lunar calendar Year of the Rooster, fireworks will be set off, baijiu (白酒 báijiǔ) will be poured, and feasts will be held. The rooster, the tenth animal of the tenth animal of the Chinese zodiac, is said to be trustworthy, responsible, have a strong sense of time, motivated, and career-driven, making 2017 likely a fairly good one for the economy, according to feng shui masters. Counterintuitively, however, 2017 is not supposed to be a good one for roosters (anyone born in 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, etc.), as those in their zodiac birth year (本命年 běnmìngnián) are said to offend Tai Sui, the God of Age. Roosters can still avoid bad luck by wearing red clothing, jade jewelry, and by other measures.

Related: Why Chinese New Year Is The Best Holiday Ever.

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Top Six Chinese Internet Memes of 2016

Patrick Kim | December 31, 2016

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Memes go viral quickly on Chinese social media, and become an important part of popular culture for the short time while that they remain novel. Most Chinese internet buzzwords poke fun at events in the news or mock something affecting their daily lives. While some of these internet phrases come off as derisive or purely cynical out of context, they are usually meant in a good-humored way, like sarcastic jokes between friends.

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Chinese Winter Tonics: Food Meets Medicine

Patrick Kim | December 10, 2016

 From steamy casseroles to hearty soups, hot comfort food is popular everywhere it gets cold. This especially true in China, where people have believed since ancient times that one’s diet should be harmonized with the seasons. Chinese cuisine goes far beyond just good old comfort food, however, incorporating traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) into seasonal dishes and dietary tonics called 冬冷进补 (dōng lěng jìnbǔ). It is common to consume winter tonics in China, usually just as part of a meal. Chinese medicine's dietary principles are very much a part of culinary culture.

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Live-Streaming: China's Latest Internet Sensation

Patrick Kim | November 30, 2016

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Live-streaming is an important trend everywhere in the tech world, but in China, millions of people are watching live-streams at any given moment. From singing and dancing to speed-eating, the content of live streams varies a lot, but often a host may just be talking about daily life, or having casual chit-chat with their audience. Typically, broadcasters are girls and most are of university age. While people in the West might find it implausible that people pay money to hear broadcasters talk about their daily lives, it is not uncommon in China for someone to earn a comfortable living being minor internet celebrities. Live-stream (直播 zhíbò) apps like Inke , Hua Jiao, Yi Zhibo and Meipai have all partnered with or been bought up by Chinese tech giants interested in their hundreds of millions of users, as well as the in-app purchases many of users make. Unlike live-streaming apps elsewhere in the world, Chinese live-streaming apps generate a lot of money from their users, who buy digital tokens to tip and support their favorite broadcasters. 

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9 Simple Feng Shui Life Hacks

Patrick Kim | October 31, 2016

Feng shui (风水 fēngshuǐ) is based on the idea that we are affected by everything in our environments through a universal force called “qi” ( qì). The idea that we are affected by everything in our environment is empowering because it means that there are relatively cost-free options to make simple but significant improvements in our lives. For instance, feng shui teaches that beds are best placed facing southeast in the direction of the sunrise as this is beneficial to the body's natural clock. Feng shui also recommends perhaps more superstitiously that we keep mirrors out of our bedrooms, as they bounce negative energy around and disrupt our rest. While some ancient feng shui practices are seen as superstition only backed up by anecdote, others are rooted in common design sense.  Let’s take a look at nine (the lucky number in feng shui numerology) of the most practical and applicable feng shui solutions for your room or house. 

Related: What Is Feng Shui And How Does It Work?

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