Should I Thank My Country?

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A couple of weeks ago, I celebrated my 8,000th day on planet Earth with non-celebrations including going out for a run, cooking for myself, and reflecting on what those 8,000 days meant. For me, personal milestones—such as birthdays, graduations, and…

Yifu, Beijing

Yifu Dong

You can contact Yifu Dong at dongyifu@gmail.com.

Are You a Picky Eater?

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Before I had lunch with my colleague today, I never knew that a simple order of a Japanese cucumber roll could be requested “inside out” with “8 pieces cut”. Each roll is usually cut into 6 pieces. But each piece…

Maggie Shi

Maggie Shi

You can contact Maggie at maggie.shiqianqian@gmail.com.

“Aya.” “Ayo.”

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I was packing for my trip, drinking wine and listening to an embarrassing amount of Disney music (and also maybe singing an embarrassing amount) when I was struck with a memory of the last time I’d been to Europe. I…

Pallavi Kottamasu

Pallavi Kottamasu

You can contact Pallavi at pkottamasu@gmail.com

Caught in the Crossfire: Witnessing “Political Correctness” at Yale

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  A couple of weeks ago, I found out by accident through a share on Facebook that I was part of a team at the New York Times Chinese website that won the 2017 SOPA Awards for Excellence in Lifestyle…

Walk, Wander and Wonder

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Are you a walker? Do you find yourself talking a walk in the woods, in a city park or garden, watching nature and losing yourself? Truth be told – I had never been a walker in a wandering, wondering way…

Mable, New York

Mable Chan

Mable Chan is the founder of China Personified. Her contact is mablechan@chinapersonified.com.

Who Can Teach You About Life?

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Last week, I read David Brooks’s column “Mis-Educating the Young”  which opens with his lunch conversation with a former student, Lucy Fleming, a 20 something recent college graduate.  Brooks asks what she has learned in her first year out of…

Mable, New York

Mable Chan

Mable Chan is the founder of China Personified. Her contact is mablechan@chinapersonified.com.

Do You Still Stay in Touch with Former Colleagues?

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Last week, I visited Tokyo with two of my former colleagues whom I worked with for about 9 months in 2015 at a global public relations consultancy. Though all of us had left the company, we still keep in touch…

Lee Zhang, Shanghai

Lee Zhang

You can contact Li Zhang at zhangli0828@hotmail.com.

A letter to Baba

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Dear Baba 爸爸, Father’s Day always falls as summer begins to swell. This time of year reminds me of when we would fly from China to the United States and visit Grandma and Grandpa in Long Island, New York. The…

Leah Jarrett

Leah Jarrett

You can contact Leah at leahyjarrett@gmail.com

If you don’t speak Chinese, you’re not my daughter

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I remember the first time I saw Ma cry—because I made her. I was eight years old and as soon as the tears started to stream down her face, I was afraid that she would never love me again. We…

Leah Jarrett

Leah Jarrett

You can contact Leah at leahyjarrett@gmail.com

My Mother’s Choice

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I’ve never really put much thought into Mother’s Day. My observation of this day usually starts with saying “Happy Mother’s Day!” to my mom and maybe culminates with a hug. Only recently have I begun to understand how motherhood has…

Eric Liao

Eric Liao

You can contact Eric at liaoee@gmail.com.

Is This All There Is?

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Two months ago, I made a decision to divert from a career path I once thought I would follow for at least another 5 years. Friends were surprised. So were former colleagues. “You were doing great. Why are you leaving?”…

Anita Xu

Anita Xu

You can contact Anita Xu at anitaxu@162.144.26.251/~chinaper.

What if you’re rejected?

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Every year right around March I see a plethora of articles on college acceptances, success stories, and rejection stories. She knew I care about education and have been actively involved in non-for-profits that are focused on assisting high school students…