China Day School: A Survival Kit for Visitors
Press release issued: 20 May 2005
Are you planning a holiday or business trip to China? Did you know that there are more than seven language groups in China or that the number four should be avoided? Bristol University's Centre for East Asian Studies is offering members of the public a unique opportunity to find out more about this fascinating country at a day school taking place next month [Saturday, 4 June].
Are you planning a holiday or business trip to China? Did you know that there are more than seven language groups in China or that the number four should be avoided? Bristol University’s Centre for East Asian Studies is offering members of the public a unique opportunity to find out more about this fascinating country at a day school taking place next month [Saturday, 4 June].
The day will provide a comprehensive overview of the most recent developments in China, giving an extraordinary insight into this captivating country, its history, language, culture, politics and economy. There will also be some useful advice on what to say and when, and what not to do.
There are seven language groups in China each containing several dialects of which the distinguishing features are tonal. Since 1913, the official language in China has been Mandarin. At the day school, Aileen Stern will explain some basic phrases in Mandarin, and some basic points of Chinese etiquette. For example, birthday gifts in China are always sent in pairs, and the number four reads like death so should be avoided.
Senior Lecturer in History, Robert Bickers will introduce the turbulent modern and contemporary history of the country, exploring in particular the legacy of China’s foreign communities which can still be seen in the streets of Shanghai or Beijing.
Professor Ka-Ho Mok, Director of the Centre for East Asian Studies will help make sense of some of China’s social and political developments.
Professor Ka-Ho Mok said: “In the last decade or so, China has experienced fundamental changes of transitional economy from a command economy to a market-driven one. Economic success has been consistently indicted by steady GDP growth. Nonetheless, China's economic achievements are not without problems. The rush-to modernization and industrialization in China mainland has caused income inequality, regional disparity and poverty issues."
The day school, organised by the University of Bristol’s Centre for East Asian Studies, will take place on Saturday 4 June. Tickets are priced at £30.
For further information please contact Emma Holland, Centre for East Asian Studies, 8 Woodland Road, Bristol, tel 0117 954 5577 or email Emma.Holland@bristol.ac.uk.