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Strangers in China
3 minutes | 24 days ago
Season 2 Trailer: Strangers in China
Strangers in China is back with a second season on November 20th, 2020. Subscribe for alerts when new episodes are published.
30 minutes | 5 months ago
What’s cooking in Taiwan
Have you missed Strangers in China? We have, too. Enjoy this bonus podcast, co-produced by Clay Baldo and Chris Hankin. More episodes will come in the fall. The conversations you will hear center on the experiences of students who are now attending the Kaiping Culinary School (kāipíng cānyǐn xuéxiào 開平餐飲學校) in Taipei. This school accepts students who would otherwise struggle within the Taiwanese educational system. At Kaiping Culinary School, however, they find a place to be heard, and to learn.
53 minutes | 7 months ago
Epilogue: In the wake of the plague
In a follow-up to the previous episode of Strangers in China — Chapter 8: The Plague — Clay reconnects with previous guests for an update on how COVID-19 is impacting their lives in China.On March 10, Xí Jìnpíng 习近平 toured Wuhan. The message was clear: He was declaring victory over this disaster on behalf of the Chinese people. One question remains to be answered, though: Is this plague really over, or are we just in the eye of the storm? This episode was produced by Clay Baldo, with audio mastering by Kaiser Kuo and research help from Shunyao. Music credits: “Analytical Skeletons,” “Hip hop instrumental,” “Vaporize Me,” and “Crumbling Chia Pets,” by Csus; “Road Trip,” “Fake Mustache,” and “Wait What,” by Purrple Cat; “f@y,” by Jack Meijer; “I Like You.,” by ARTST_UNKWN_2; “I Was Nothing,” by Le Gang; “IC3PEAK,” by svd_b1tch; “Hip Hop Instrumental 82 BPM,” by Terri Skillz; and “xmpty” and “Light Showers,” by lofee.
57 minutes | 9 months ago
Chapter Nine: Mulan
In this final episode of season 1 of Strangers in China, we meet the remarkable Jessie: She studied her way out of abject poverty in rural Hubei while raising her younger siblings. She faced down thugs who were trying to collect debt from her deadbeat father. Then, she made it to Shanghai for college, only to be told she doesn't belong. Meanwhile, she created a rich inner life, inspired by literature, philosophy, and lots of Greek mythology.Music credits:“Analytical Skeletons,” “Shia Baat,” “Gifts,” and “Vaporize Me,” by csus; “Road Trip,” “Fake Mustache,” and “Sad Ending,” by Purrple Cat; “f@y” and “337,” by Jack Meijer; “xmpty” and “Light Showers,” by lofee; “I Was Nothing,” by Le Gang; “Sorrow,” by Sappheiros; and “I Like You,” by ARTST_UNKNWN2.
70 minutes | 10 months ago
Chapter Eight: The Plague
This week on Strangers in China, we hear from people all over China about their experiences during the last few weeks, as a deadly pathogen has turned crowded metropolises into virtual ghost towns. There’s a lot of fear and anxiety, but also a lot of pulling together for the common good. And boredom — lots of boredom. Hear how ordinary Chinese are coping with the coronavirus.Music credits:Theme song: “Analytical Skeletons,” “Hip hop instrumental,” “Vaporize Me,” “Crumbling Chia Pets,” and “Shia Baat,” by csus; “Road Trip,” “Fake Mustache,” “Sad Ending,” and “Wait What,” by Purrple Cat; “f@y,” by Jack Meijer; “Xmpty,” by lofee; “I Was Nothing,” by Le Gang; and “MTL,” by JMC. Videos:“Man uses sanitary pad as mask in Wuhan to battle Coronavirus,” China coronavirus: a look inside the sealed off city of Wuhan,” “CoronaVirus- People Are Collapsing In The Streets In China,” and “Wuhan jiāyóu': chants of solidarity spread across city at epicentre of coronavirus.”Production credits:Producer/host: Clay BaldoResearcher: Shunyao YangMastered by: Kaiser KuoTranslation: Josh Ogden-DavisVoice-over: Elizabeth KlebenowCheck out Josh’s podcast, MSG: Mandarin Slang Guide. Josh is a talented translator and charismatic host who teaches you the Chinese slang that you actually need to know. Get the MSG: Mandarin Slang Guide wherever you find your podcasts: Mandarin Slang Guide on Apple PodcastsThanks to everyone who submitted reflections for this episode.
67 minutes | 10 months ago
Chapter Seven: We all get schooled by Wenfei
Wenfei is an education consultant in Shanghai. After he attended high school and college in America, a trend that is on the rise for students from China, he is in a unique position to counsel students that are hoping to do the same. In this episode, he compares and contrasts the American and Chinese educational systems, dives into some of the murky social and cultural implications of making the leap from China to America as a teenager, and provides some insight on the pressure that Chinese teens face when transitioning from one system to another. Works consulted:“Louisiana School Made Headlines for Sending Black Kids to Elite Colleges. Here’s the Reality.” by Erica L. Green and Katie Benner; “College Admissions: Vulnerable, Exploitable, and to Many Americans, Broken,” by Anemona Hartocollis; “The Absurdity of College Admissions,” by Alia Wong; “Why So Many Chinese Students Come to America,” by PolyMatter; “China roots out its ‘gaokao migrants’ as university entrance exam nears,” by Laurie Chen; “China’s Unfair College Admissions System,” by Yiqin Fu; “Trade war: How reliant are US colleges on Chinese students,” by Reality Check team, BBC News; “The Real Reason Trump Wants to Ban Chinese College Students,” and by Christopher Rim.Music credits:“Analytical Skeletons,” “Hip hop instrumental,” by csus; “Road Trip,” “Fake Mustache,” by Purrple Cat; “f@y,” by jack meijer; “Hip Hop Instrumental 174 BPM,” “Hip Hop Instrumental 130 BPM,” “Hip Hop Instrumental 82 BPM,” by Terri Skillz; “IC3PEAK Type beat- Sick,” by svd b1tch; “I Like You.,” by ARTST_UNKWN2; “Lofee,” Xmpty; “MTL,” by JMC; and “Kronicle - Listen Up,” by Fox Beat 2.Email: email@example.com.Thanks to Nowness Shanghai for letting me use their recording studio.
34 minutes | 10 months ago
Strangers in China: Bonus episode
Hear bonus material from some of the most insightful profiles we've done so far on Strangers in China. Enjoy!
54 minutes | a year ago
Chapter Six: Let’s talk dirty, cleanly
Let’s talk about sex. In China. Guest host Yoky joins Clay on this week’s episode to lay bare the truth about sex and sexuality in China: The two dive into a conversation with Ying, a sex shop owner in Shanghai, who shares her experiences with her customers, explains Chinese perspectives, curiosities, and apprehensions about sex, and provides a look at sex education, intimacy, and relationships in the country. 7:59: How the concept of consent translates across cultures14:28: What is sex education like in China?20:41: Is the topic of sex taboo in Chinese culture?25:40: How Reform and Opening changed sex in China39:40: For many women, sex is just an obligationFollow Strangers in China on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.Music credits: “Analytical Skeletons” and “Shhia Baat,” by csus; “Afterthought,” by Evan Schaefer; “Hi,” by Dovi; “Chill Day,” by LAKEY INSPIRED; “I Was Nothing,” by Le Gang; “Fake Mustache,” “Wait What,” “Road Trip,” and “Happy,” by Purrple Cat; “Hip hop Instrumentals 120 bpm,” by Terri Skillz; “I Like You.,” by ARTST_UNKNWN2; “xmpty,” by lofee; and “Beat 36,” by Dixxy. Works consulted:Sex in China, by Elaine Jeffreys with Haiqing Yu; China’s ‘lost’ sexual past is laid bare in Sotheby’s erotic art exhibit, by Agence France-Presse; and The Shanghai sex shop selling more than just toys, by Fan Yiying.Thanks to Nowness Shanghai.
57 minutes | a year ago
Chapter Five: Far from home, part 2
Continuing from last week’s episode, Clay and guest host Maggie follow Li and Suyi’s stories, the conditions in which they were raised, and how they ended up so far removed from their rural homes. Part 2 focuses on economic and social mechanisms that are pushing young people away from their smaller cities and toward China’s large urban centers like Shanghai.Music credits:“Analytical Skeletons” and “Gifts,” by csus; “Fake Mustache” and “Road Trip,” by Purrple Cat; “Chill Day,” by LAKEY INSPIRED; “December,” by Sachko; “I Was Nothing,” by Le Gang; “Xmpty,” by lofee; “I Like You.,” by ARTST_UNKWN2; and “#001- Free Chilled Lofi Beat - 70bpm,” by PATENT. Works consulted:Introducing the city of Shanghai and Regional China: internal migration, by The Economist Intelligence Unit; China Gini Coefficient, by CEIC; The pressure to get married is tearing China’s families apart, by Ma Chunhua; In China’s cities, young people with rural ties are angry, The Economist; and The young and lonely hearts of China’s shrinking cities, by Ye Ming.Thanks to Mike for his voice-over work. Thanks to Shanghai Curious Minds for letting us recordwith them. Thanks to Nowness Shanghai for letting me use their recording studio, and a shout-out to Monty.
55 minutes | a year ago
Chapter Five: Far from home, part 1
In part 1 of this two-part series, Clay and guest host Maggie follow Li and Suyi — two young Chinese individuals — and their stories of how they grew up and came to Shanghai. This episode explores what it’s like growing up on China’s economic periphery, removed from the ever-growing metropolitan areas along the coast, as well as some familiar stresses of growing up, how these experiences shape who we become, and the unfamiliarity of living in a new place. 12:09: Growing up in Guiyang19:02: Respect through education26:03: Pressures from the hukou system35:22: The gaokaoMusic credits: “Analytical Skeletons,” “Vaporize Me,” and “Crumbling Chia Pets,” by csus; “Wait What,” “Fake Mustache,” “Road Trip,” and “Sad Ending,” by Purrple Cat; “Hi,” by Dovi; “#001 - Free Chilled Lofi Beat - 70bpm,” by PATENT; “Me 2,” by LAKEY INSPIRED; and “cool nights,” by Dixxy. Works consulted:A tourism video of Guiyang; The origins and social consequences of China’s hukou system, by Tiejun Cheng and Mark Seldon; China’s Hukou system creating barriers to real urbanization, by Chong Koh Ping; Why are China’s little emperors getting so fat? Blame the grandparents, study says, by Ariana Eunjung Cha; One-child policy, by Kenneth Pletcher; and White and beautiful: An examination of skin whitening practices and female empowerment in China, by Evelyn Yueng.Thanks to Mike and Nowness Shanghai for letting me use their recording studio.
59 minutes | a year ago
Chapter Four: CINEMQ
CINEMQ is one of Shanghai's premier queer events, though it's not one you're really supposed to know about. In this episode, the organizers of CINEMQ explain the process of putting together a queer event in a city that's facing more intense governmental scrutiny. They hope to create a safe yet challenging community under tightening strictures.9:09: Chinese individuals becoming open to queerness17:49: What is CINEMQ?31:31: Underground queer culture42:28: The queer community in ChinaYou can find CINEMQ on its website and Twitter page. Music credits:“Analytical Skeletons,” by csus; “f@y,” by Jack Meijer; “Muzzle,” by JCM; “Breeze,” by Svd b1tch; “I Like You.,” by ARTST_UNKWN2; “I Was Nothing,” by Le Gang; “Lo-Fi-Theory,” by Lofi; and “Lofi,” by nikishev.2.Works consulted:Cultural Theory and Popular Culture, by John Storey; Sex in China, by Elaine Jeffreys and Haiqing Yu; How queer film thrives under the radar in Shanghai, and its soft power, by Laurie Chen; Queer filmmaking in the People’s Republic of China, by Hongwei Bao; Homosexuality and queer aesthetics in Chinese cinema, by Helen Hok-Sze Leung; How China keeps gay people off TV, by Barclay Bram; Queer Asian films are finally becoming more prevalent, by Lilian Min; and From ‘celluloid comrade’ to ‘digital video activism’: queer filmmaking in postsocialist China, by Hongwei Bao.
43 minutes | a year ago
Chapter Three: Ashley
Ashley is a queer activist working on documenting LGBTQ life in Shanghai. She faces intense scrutiny as the censorship apparatus has taken down her videos for seemingly arbitrary reasons. After struggling through erasure by censors she has emerged tougher and more thoughtful.4:23: Coming out to her parents7:52: A generational disconnect14:29: It’s safer to self-censor23:57: The Party’s need for control30:08: Returning to ChinaFind OutChina on YouTube and Twitter. Ashley’s YouTube channel.Music credits: “Analytical Skeletons,” “Vaporize Me,” “Crumbling Chia Pets,” “Shhia Batt,” and “Gifts,” by csus; “Lofee,” by Xmpty; Terri Skillz; and “Funk Subliminal,” by Piano Flavor.Works consulted: Sex in China, by Elaine Jeffreys and Haiqing Yu; LGBT Rights in China, by Equaldex; Fewer rainbows, less social media for China’s LGBT community, Agence France-Presse; China’s complicated LGBT movement, by Si Chen; Conversation therapy still promoted in China, investigation finds, by Bibek Bhandari; A Chinese social media platform is making it hard to use a popular LGBTQ hashtag, by Kyle Mullin; NGOs are under threat in China’s latest crackdown against ‘foreign forces’, by Zheping Huang; and China’s most despised woman: The most professional mistress who refused to keep quiet, by Yuan Ren.
40 minutes | a year ago
Chapter Two: The Calm Before The Storm
Storm Xu is a comedian and the owner of a local comedy club. One of the very few comics who can perform in both English and Chinese, Storm is making a name for himself on the Chinese stand-up comedy scene as he deftly navigates between languages and cultures to connect with his various audiences. 5:21: Hip-hop influence10:15: “Making it” as a comedian15:00: Bilingual comedy19:55: Let’s not talk politics24:44: Performing under censorshipMusic credits:“Analytical Skeletons,” by csus; “SNOWDROP” and “Take It Easy,” by PIANO FLAVA; “Early,” by Freshboiii; “xmpty,” by lofee; “Hip Hop Instrumental Bpm 117,” by Terri Skillz; and “D E C E M B E R,” by Sachko.Storm Xu on social media: Website | Instagram | TwitterWorks consulted:Q&A with rising Chinese comic Storm Xu ahead of March 10 Salud gig, by Kyle Mullin; Heard the one about Asia’s comedy scene? First, you’ll need a permit, by Charlotte Graham-McLay; Melbourne Comedy Festival's Dashan, Andy Curtain and Storm Xu are China's stand-up pioneers, by Angus Grigg; What’s it like being a comedian in China, BBC Funny In Four; and Can stand-up comedy succeed in China?, by Robert Foyle Hunwick.Comedy clips:A STORM HITS LONDON; Storm Xu stand-up; Storm Xu - Comedy Show in a Military Base; and Comedian Storm Xu - Learning English from Biggie Tupac and Wu Tang Clan.
33 minutes | a year ago
Chapter One: Rotten Girls
For Lily, a professional 32-year-old woman living in Shanghai, navigating the divide between the expectations of her family deep in rural China and her own desires for her future has never been easy. As an unmarried woman who long ago left her hometown, she faces mounting pressure from her family and community to find a partner and settle down. On this week’s episode of Strangers in China, Lily shares her struggles with rootlessness and a search for belonging, and the revelations she has had about the world beyond China that have helped shape who she is today — though often in direct opposition to traditional cultural norms. Acknowledgments The creators of Strangers in China would like to thank Ryan Thorpe and the Shanghai Writers Workshop and Anthony Tao of SupChina. This episode and this series is dedicated to Clay’s grandmother Joyce, who passed away as this podcast was being conceived.Music credits:“Analytical Skeletons,” “What Are You Doing Tomorrow?,” “Shhia Bhat,” “Advil’s Lament,” and “Gifts” by csus; Terri Skillz; “Sorrow” by Sappheiros; “I Like You” by Dovi; “MARIGOLD” by Evan Schaeffer Music Studios.Works consulted:Leftover Women: The Resurgence of Gender Inequality in China, by Leta Hong Fincher
3 minutes | a year ago
Trailer: Strangers in China
The latest addition to the Sinica Podcast Network, “Strangers in China,” makes its debut on September 19. Join creator and host Clay Baldo in getting to know the unsung actors in the grand China story: the creative and the quirky, the misfits and the malcontents, the wise-crackers and the weirdos. Over the coming months, “Strangers in China” will pull back the curtain on the lesser-known faces of Chinese society, and shed light on the idiosyncratic individuals that make China tick.
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