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Useful resources for learning about contemporary China:

 English language Sinica Podcast

James Fallows - not always China-related, but always interesting

What's going on in Beijing:

TimeOut Beijing

The Beijinger

China Daily's Beijing Weekend 

Beijing Weather - Weather Underground

 

Useful language learning tools

Chinesepod podcast - free beginners' podcasts

Popup Chinese podcast - another very good podcast series

Hacking Chinese - interesting ideas on learning Chinese efficiently

Skritter character-learning tool for iPad/iPhone - really fun app

Sinosplice - John Pasden's site on many interesting aspects of China and the Chinese language

 

 

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Friday
May082015

Yong He Gong Temple

Sherry and Emily here! Beijing has been a blast! Two days ago, the whole group went to the Yong He Gong Temple. We meet up at 9am to walk to the Chinese subway. The day before we recieved blue subway cards that had money preloaded on them. We have to swipe the card when we go on the subway and when we exit it. There's also a security check as we walked in, which was different than expected.

After Kevin and Kai navigated us through the subway system, we finally arrived at Yong He Gong Temple. At the entrance we each received a complimentary bundle of incense sticks. There are multiple temples within Yong He Gong. In front of each main temple, there is the option to burn three incense sticks to use for worship. Typically, you bow three times holding the incense in both hands, making one wish for each bow. For this purpose there were cushions in front of the temple for people kneeled on. Then, people placed their incense sticks up right in a metal bin filled with what appeared to be sand, allowing the incense to continue to burn. Areas designated for worship were also found inside the temples, but we were not allowed to burn the incense here.

 

 

Inside the temples were large, exquisite, detailed statues of famous bodhisattvas. In one temple, the was a Bodhisattva statue that three stories high made from a single tree. (It had a guinness record placard on the outside!) 

 

After we left the temple, we ate lunch at a baotzi restaurant, which are delicious steamed buns that we dipped in chinese vinegar. We had some pork ones as well as some with eggs and mushrooms. So yummy!!

That night, our BNU students visited us. It was great meeting them and we're looking forward to getting to know them in the next few weeks. 

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