Chinese culture

Hu Xin and He Yan Xin as seen in the film "Hidden Letters"

These women are trying to preserve an ancient Chinese language invented as a secret code


Hundreds of years ago, women in China weren’t allowed an education and spent their days locked in rooms, embroidering and making crafts. They came up with a new language that men couldn’t understand — Nüshu — and wrote it onto handmade fans to communicate with each other. A filmmaker is now trying to raise awareness to preserve it before it is lost.

Pink exterior of a building

Beloved Beijing bookstore closes as part of urban renewal campaign 

Three girls peer over the pew in church in China.

China’s new anti-Christmas campaign leaves citizens celebrating in secret


Opera singers go east, to China

Arts, Culture & Media
Poet Yu Xiuhua lives in her home village in China's Hubei Province. She became an internet sensation with the publication of her poem, "Crossing Half of China to Sleep With You."

1,200 years later, is Chinese poetry entering a new golden age?

Robert "RZA" Diggs is the founder of the Wu Tang Clan. He wrote "The Tao of Wu" in 2009, which made the New York Times best-seller list.

From the Jesuits to Ronald Reagan to RZA, the worldwide appeal of Daoism endures


Daoism isn’t usually on the short list of major world religions. There is no Daoist equivalent to the Pope, Dalia Lama, or holy city of Mecca. But the global appeal of Daoism is still strong.

A Taoist priest stands in sunlight to keep warm in the courtyard of the 700-year-old Dongyue Temple in central Beijing.

Daoism gains a foothold, again, in China


A more prosperous China is getting more interested in wellness — and Daoist temples are offering courses on nutrition, health, meditation and tai chi. Government money is pouring into temples as Beijing has said nice things about Daoism, says journalist and author Ian Johnson.

Steven Weathers (center) was often hired to play a foreign expert in a lab coat in Chinese commercials, but he says advertisers are using more Chinese actors to play the reassuring roles.

These may be the last days of the white ‘expert’ in Chinese TV ads


White actors playing “experts” regularly appear in Chinese commercials. But now, as Chinese consumers grow more sophisticated, more and more Chinese actors are taking over the lab coats and boss roles in TV ads.

CCTV Spring Gala image

China’s ‘Super Bowl’ of TV — its New Year’s spectacular — disappoints the masses

Arts, Culture & Media

Known as Chunwan, the New Year’s variety show typically draws hundreds of millions of viewers. But when it aired on January 30, 2014, it seemed long on propaganda and short on entertainment, disappointing nearly 60% of Chinese, according to a survey.


Montreal’s bike community rallies around its financially strapped bike sharing program, Bixi

The bike sharing system Bixi has filed for bankruptcy protection. The non-profit company owes creditors, including the city of Montreal, nearly $50 million.