I tell you, it’s easy to get lost in the vast world of the internet as images and stories vie for your attention. I don’t remember the last time I picked up an actual newspaper.
In this vast world how does one go about finding noteworthy news? Well, I don’t know about you, but these are some of the stories that I’ve been reading about lately. (And to avoid being redundant, this post is mostly for you in North America because many of my colleagues and American friends here in China are reading many of the same articles–except that these particular ones pull at my heart strings in specific ways).
My first source of news is always ZG Briefs, a condensation of news items gathered from published sources. You can subscribe and every Thursday in your inbox you will get a whole collection of stories relating to what’s happening in China. In addition to the blogs of some of my friends who write as being outsiders in China, I also look at places like Danwei as a source of other blogs and articles that people are contributing.
Here are some of the stories I’ve been reading lately:
- Keeping a Lid on Ramadan This article uses examples from a teacher’s college in northwest China. This teacher’s college is the exact place where I lived, learned, and loved for nine months. I experienced Ramadan during my first month there and it was these kinds of issues that I had to learn to deal with as I first began to step into the culture there. This story breaks my heart.
- When a Woman Dares to Say “He Hit Me” in China. Did you know that China has no law related to domestic abuse and that its courts did not even issue protection orders for victims of domestic abuse until 2008? Yet domestic abuse is pervasive in China.
- In Beijing, Students in Limbo After Migrant Schools Close. We rub shoulders with migrant workers everyday. 14,000 children are suddenly without a school. Compassion Migrant Children is an organization seeking to help, but it can only do so much. What, then, should our response be?
But, careful- before you start thinking that it’s all bad, remember the headlines that cross our newspapers in America every day. Fact is, it’s a broken world. There is only One who can redeem that brokenness…and invites us to play a part.
- Maybe you don’t like to read as much as you enjoy images? Here is a photojournal/article about What Young Chinese Are Thinking, a collection of 30 photographs taken by a British photographer Adrian Fisk as he travelled around China to let young people’s voices be heard.
- Christianity in China: God is Red. This article is a preview of a book by Liao Yiwu, a Chinese journalist who set out and write stories about faithful Christians in China. What is especially powerful about his book is the fact that Liao Yiwu is not himself a Christian. In fact, “he’d been taught that religion was evil, and that those who believed in it were deluded, cultists, or imperialist spies. But, Liao felt a kinshipwith Chinese Christians in their unwavering commitment to the freedom of expression and to finding meaning in a tumultuous society”(amazon.com). I hope to order this book on my Kindle soon!
- Social Media in China. Yes, Facebook, Youtube, most blogging sites, and Twitter are blocked by “The Great Firewall of China.” But, really, China is doing just fine, better than fine. In fact, they have their own versions of Facebook (Renren), Youtube (Youku), and Twitter (Weibo). And it is soaring! In fact, China’s micrblogging world has become the new frontier.
- One last one (for today). There is a kind of joke going around on China’s microblog Weibo. It’s called A Village With Only One Restaurant. However, by reading between the lines, the implication is clear.