In search of “US”!

They may not be written, articulated, or learned even, but with kindness, tolerance, and a sincere respect towards the host, one can easily feel at home in Kunming, as I have. Having never been to Asia, I was looking forward to a major culture shock. An environment, a culture, and language so different from the Western world, and completely unfamiliar to an Ethiopian eye; instead I was met with the recognition of one in the other. A smile will take you further to the heart of the residents making it easy for them to welcome strangers with open arms, eager to share their culture and novice craft of living that’s unique to them. And indeed no less apparent, we too get to share each of our own unique story as they observe how we each carry ourselves in a strangers land they call home. A wonderful experience that’s currently hard to author in just few words, our journey continues … Looking forward to it.

In search of "US"!

They may not be written, articulated, or learned even, but with kindness, tolerance, and a sincere respect towards the host, one can easily feel at home in Kunming, as I have. Having never been to Asia, I was looking forward to a major culture shock. An environment, a culture, and language so different from the Western world, and completely unfamiliar to an Ethiopian eye; instead I was met with the recognition of one in the other. A smile will take you further to the heart of the residents making it easy for them to welcome strangers with open arms, eager to share their culture and novice craft of living that’s unique to them. And indeed no less apparent, we too get to share each of our own unique story as they observe how we each carry ourselves in a strangers land they call home. A wonderful experience that’s currently hard to author in just few words, our journey continues … Looking forward to it.

india to yunnan journey so far…………….suman chakraborty

india to yunnan journey so far has been a tremendous experience specially so far for a person like me who is travelling abroad … i love the culture and environment of the city just love it had some problem to adapt with the food of here but now got completely used to it …………..its just awesome

Spring 2012 Course: Rights and Activism in Modern China

Rights and Activism in Modern China NANT3570
Spring 2012 on Mondays from 4:00-5:50 PM

The language of human rights has become increasingly common in China today. Amid the economic and social upheavals of the late socialist period, ordinary Chinese have turned to human rights as both a political strategy and a new way of understanding themselves and their relationship to the state.

We use studies of current and prominent human rights cases to contemplate the following questions: What is the relationship between the international human rights movement and domestic grassroots activism? In what kinds of situations is the language of rights useful, and how are individuals interpreting and pressing human rights claims? What is the role of the state in promoting or suppressing human rights? What impact do China’s burgeoning capitalist markets have on human rights?

We discuss the growth of grassroots groups and the expansion of civil society in China, exploring the impact of technology, international funding, and domestic law. The course draws on scholarly texts, publications by nongovernmental human rights organizations, and Web-based academic projects and blogs.

Kunming Traffic

Hello everyone,

Today I am going to write about traffic in Kunming. I find the act of crossing the street endlessly fascinating here. The relationship between vehicles and pedestrians is subtly different from what I am used to. In the USA we have a very clearly defined set of rules about who belongs where: cars and bikes on the street, pedestrians on the sidewalk; at crossings pedestrians have priority but otherwise stay out of the way of the faster and heavier vehicles. As a culture we have ceded ownership of the streets to cars and trucks and other vehicles. In Kunming that social compact has not yet been made. I imagine it is because cars have not been on the scene long enough to have become the entrenched inevitability they are in the USA. Being relatively new they do not have any natural supremacy in the order of the road, they may be new participants but they don’t have special status. Naturally cars, trucks, bicycles, anything faster or heavier than an unladen human, have primacy in the streets, but it is a primacy borne of a Darwinian instinct for survival and not one borne of an explicit social arrangement. Everyone on the street has equal standing, in principle, if a space becomes available however briefly. In Kunming, a pedestrian is not limited to the sidewalk, she uses the sidewalk only as a convenience when there is an obstruction in the road: the two are equal and interchangeable with no mental boundary between them. In the USA walking in the street is only done with a feeling of danger, however slight, and a sense of transgression, even on the loneliest street with no traffic at all. In Kunming there may actually be greater danger to the pedestrian as she shares the road with every kind of vehicle, but she does not feel it as such and travels the street with total confidence under and conditions: with a sense of total comfort and abandon she walks where she will and the street belongs to her.

Pages: