History is how you read it: the Marcos Museum (Southeast Asia Globe)

    The ‘sacred’ story of the Philippines’ former strongman Ferdinand Marcos, as told through a bizarre museum in his home province, where he is still adored. Outside of the Marcos Museum and Mausoleum, beneath a soaring verdant canopy, skinny pushbike tricycle drivers listlessly chatter away the day. They are more consumed by their conversation …

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Thaipusam, Batu Caves, Malaysia: A Burdensome Path

I won’t pretend to understand everything that Hinduism stands for. When faced with such a foreign belief as this, I’m inclined to fold. That’s how attending Thaipusam made me feel at least: present, yet oddly unaware. Since moving to Malaysia about eight months ago, I had etched out in my mind a specific set of …

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Reading Chinese: Reproductive Organs 生殖器

Reproductive Organs Simplified/Traditional: 生殖器 Pinyin: shēngzhíqì Brief: Sex education has recently become a trendy topic across China, and though school teachers and the education officials they answer to get an 'A' for effort, their application of the program seems to miss the mark. A photo essay in WantChinaTimes outlines the adventurous approach that has been …

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Goofed up Translations from The Manchurian’s Menu

Before making my grand exit out of Shanghai, I decided it was more than necessary to revisit The Manchurian, or Dongbei Ren (东北人), a chain of atavistic eateries that perfume a potent Mao-era ambiance.  While I love the nostalgic decor and variety of northeastern dishes (the medley of fried mushrooms comes to mind), the real …

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Who Listens to Chinese Propaganda Anyway?

The simple answer: not many. Speaking for those living in the urban centers I've visited (yes, not including rural areas), Chinese young and old tend to ride off the pervasive red-ribboned mandates that decorate their alleyways and markets. I often amiably ask something along the lines of, "So what do you think about that sign?" …

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