regional stereotypes

Are regional stereotypes about Chinese true?

“… Men from Jilin tend to be more aggressive,” a female group member in one of the WeChat groups I’m in recently warned another group member. My husband is from Jilin province, so I wanted to know more. She explained: “It is known…

full moon celebration

Chinese traditions: Manyue or Full Moon celebration

满月 (mǎnyuè), or Full Moon, is when a baby turns 30 days old. In China, it’s tradition to cut a baby’s hair for the Full Moon celebration. Before our son turns 30 days, my mother-in-law sends my husband a message: “Once you’ve…

baby's little foot

Chinese traditions: Ritual for 5-day-old newborn

In July 2014, my husband and I are in Austria. When our son turns 5 days old, my Chinese mother-in-law (who’s living in China) asks my husband to perform a ritual: My husband takes a blanket with both his hands…

millet, goji berries and jujube

Chinese postpartum practices

Labor Confinement In China, it’s tradition to do labor confinement (called 坐月子 zuò yuèzi in Chinese) for a period of 30 days after giving birth. Zuo yuezi is supposed to help a woman recover from childbirth and avoid connected future health problems….

pork tail

Pork tail – A Chinese delicacy not for kids

It’s September 2014 and we’re in Austria. Whenever we go to the supermarket, my husband looks for things he can turn into Chinese dishes. One day, he turns up with a pig’s tail. In China, pork tail is a delicacy. In…

Chinese Ghost Festival

Ghost Festival (鬼节 guǐjié) falls on the 15th day of the 7th month of the lunar calendar. It is said that on this day, the doors between the human and the spirit world are wide open. Chinese folklore, Taoism, Buddhism, even…

cross-cultural relationship

5 cultural differences connected to water

When my husband and I first got together, there were a few things we did differently and which may have been influenced by our different cultural upbringings. A lot of them are somehow connected to water. 1. Washing your face My…

rain drops

Getting rid of ghosts

I’ve learned that in China I shouldn’t put an open umbrella on our apartment floor to dry because that would mean inviting ghosts in. So what can you do if you’ve invited ghosts into your home? According to some old tales,…

inviting ghosts into our home

Inviting ghosts into our home

Starting from today, posts on China Elevator Stories will be published on Mondays and Thursdays instead of Tuesdays and Saturdays. Make sure to come back and check out new posts on these days! At the end of March 2014, the Guangdong region…

“My friends are eager to meet you”

In the summer of 2012 I visit my friend in her hometown Changsha. She had told me before that everyone is eager to meet me. Her grandparents (especially her grandfather who had helped me find my Chinese name according to…

looking at rain drops from inside a car

A dragon’s fate

Everytime Y travels somewhere or takes on an important task, it rains heavily. And each and everytime this happens, he’ll say: “Do you believe it now? My mother came to believe it because it just always happens.” Came to believe…

Shenzhen blogs

I’ve been trying to find some more English language blogs written by people living in Shenzhen. The list is still short and comes in no particular order – let me know if you know of any other interesting blogs that…

Being introduced to people in China

In the summer of 2012 I visit my friend in her hometown Changsha. We became friends while she was studying in Vienna and I was working there. In the summer of 2012 we’re both in China at the same time….

Saying your age in China

When people in Austria ask Y how old he is he’ll say he’s 31. When people in South China ask him about his age, he’ll say he’s 32. And when people in Northeast China ask him, he’ll say 33. So…