Manchu cropping up in very strange places

Awhile ago I posted about a guy I bumped into with Manchu script on his shirt.  Now I found something even more odd.  You’ve probably seen those kinds of notebooks that students often buy with forms in them where their classmates are supposed to fill in their contact information and their likes and dislikes.  Look at this example (below the fold): Continue reading Manchu cropping up in very strange places

Manchu script in modern fashion

Having started summer vacation, I brought my kids up to Jilin to see the relatives for a couple weeks. I skipped down to Beijing for a couple days to meet up with Victor Mair, David Moser, Joel Martinsen, Brendan O’Kane, and Syz.  On the way back I had to switch trains in Changchun.  I found a cell phone charger and while I was waiting for it to charge, a guy came up and stood near me.  I glanced at his t-shirt and was very surprised at what I saw. Continue reading Manchu script in modern fashion

Sanjiazi 05: Dress-up time

Previous entries: 1, 2, 3, 4.

There’s an old stereotype about Asians and cameras.  When I was a boy growing up in the Midwest, I remember hearing my father say “I’ve never seen a Chinaman without a camera.”  Of course by “Chinaman” he meant anyone with “yellow” skin.  This kind of talk sounds almost racist these days, but that’s just how people talked back then, regardless of their views on race.  Looking back on my father’s life at that time, I couldn’t say he was racist in any way.  During that time I rarely knew or even saw any Asians, but my father worked with people from all over the world every day.

Stereotypes don’t come out of nowhere though.  After I got married (to a Chinese girl), my wife and I were living in Manhattan’s Chinatown, and once decided to take a Chinese bus tour to Washington DC.  As soon as we got there, the bus stopped in front of the Capitol building and everyone (all Chinese except me) proceded one by one to have their pictures taken in front of it.  Then we got back on the bus, drove to the next attraction, and then the same thing again!  And again!  My wife and I finally decided we would escape and catch up with them later.

Back to Sanjiazi: when the Manchu teacher Shi Junguang (see previous posts, listed above)  and I got back to the school office, some of the others were looking at the school’s collection of traditional Manchu costumes.  Then someone pointed at me and I was doomed. Continue reading Sanjiazi 05: Dress-up time