Ten Websites about China and Chinese Culture
Eight hundred years ago, expediter Marco Polo had to travel a LONG strenuous way from Europe to China in order to introduce the two civilizations to each other. Now, in the New Millennium, life is much easier than ever before.
With the help of internet and World-Wide-Web, we can instantly access information on the other side of this planet. Culture exchange is real-time. If you cannot visit China, that’s fine. There are lots of good websites online devoted to introducing China and Chinese culture to the rest of world. Here I list ten of them for you. Hope after visiting these websites, you can have a fresh understanding of China and Chinese culture and clarify some prejudices and stereotypes.
1. cultural-china.com – Visit
A Shanghai-based non-profit cultural website initiated by Shanghai News and Press Bureau and undertaken by the Long River Foreign Exchange Foundation. IMHO, this is the best website so far fulfilling the ideal that “to popularize Chinese cultures throughout the world, promote the cultural exchanges between China and other countries, and let the world know more about China through the Internet”, pretty similar to my ChinaBlog.cc vision.
The website is rich in content and very well organized. The only thing they miss is a “RSS” feed. Actually I contacted their admin but they said they were considering that. They also started a WordPress MU based multi user blog platform recently. But it is still a mess and not moderated well.
2. chinapage.com – Visit
chinapage.com (aka. China the Beautiful on one page) is the grandfather of all China intro websites. It was established in 1994 by Dr. Pei Minglong. After 15 years of continuous accumulation, ChinaPage.com now has a “huge” collection of China and Chinese culture related material. Lots of information on Chinapage is provided via dual language: English and Chinese, which is very convenient for learning Chinese.
Honestly, chinapage is the website that inspired me to start chinablog.cc. While its content is awesome, the technology behind the website is apparently outdated, so web 1.0.
3. About.com – Chinese culture
Authored by about.com guide Lisa Chiu, this website is the best Chinese culture website I found on non-Chinese maintained sources. It also provides an extensive intro page here and an author’s blog here.
Unfortunately, it seems the guide Lisa Chiu has just resigned recently. The page is now guest posted by “China Travel” guide Sara Naumann. And they are looking for a guide to take the place. If you are interested, you can apply to guide the site.
4. flickr.com – Ten China Groups
Flickr is the largest and best photo sharing community in the world. On Flickr, you can easily enjoy millions of stunning images contributed by all the people around the globe.
Flickr has a huge stock of “China” photos. Flickr has provided a very smart rating system for image quality and popularity; and its huge community also helps “favor” and “group” out the best images. There are probably thousands of “China” related Flickr groups. Here, I selected 10 of them as my favorite “China” groups.
5. Confucius Institute Online – Visit
One of the best websites devoted to Chinese language learning. Offline, there are 328 Confucius Institutes in 82 countries and regions have been established until May 2009.
Confucius Institute, as a non-profit education organization, devoted to satisfying the demands of people from different countries and regions in the world who learn Chinese language, to enhancing their understanding of the Chinese language and culture, to strengthening educational and cultural exchange and cooperation between China and other countries, to deepening friendly relationships with other nations, to promoting the development of multi-culturalism, and to the building of a harmonious world.
6. China Radio International – About China
Provided by expert journalists and editors at China Radio International (CRI), this page serves as one stop place to know the ABCs about China and Chinese culture.
7. chinaculture.org – Visit
This website is “under the guidance of the Ministry of Culture, Chinaculture.org was developed and is maintained by Chinadaily.com.cn“. However, despite two big names, IMHO, chinaculture.org is not as well developed as its Shanghai based cousin – cultural-china.com (1st of this list). They could organize their content better.
Chinaculture.org offers broad access to up-to-date cultural news about China with a wealth of information about Chinese history, culture, politics and economy.
8. Wikipedia.org – China
Of course, wikipedia.org – “the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit”, the largest community maintained free online information source – also provides great information about China. The only concern is that “anyone can edit” makes the information less reliable, just keep that in mind.
9. Britannica Encyclopedia – Visit
Nobody can beat the reputation of Britannica Encyclopedia in the encyclopedia field. Its “China” item is very well written with enormous information and links. If you can afford $70/year for its premium membership, you can get rid of the black screen which keeps reminding you that you are browsing a premium article and it’s not free.
10. youtube.com – China Channels
If you want to watch China live instead of reading cold text on screen, youtube is the place to go. The link I provided above is all the “China” channels. Unlike flickr.com which has a very effective rating system to present you the best images, it seems to me youtube community is not very good at promoting quality. I guess you have to surf to find yourself some good videos.
That’s all! Do you know any good websites about China and Chinese Culture? Please share with us here!