Chinese Culture

I have been expanding my knowledge of Chinese Culture with interactive online seminars with Madison, a sinophile with a wide knowledge of Chinese history and customs.  We’ve explored Chinese poetry and drooled over the Eight Great Cuisines!  She is starting e new series of seminars in September.

More on Chinese Culture.


I love the sound of the qin.  The scholar playing the qin (one of the four arts) is often depicted in paintings, like this animated introduction.  You can hear more recordings:

Mongolian music and throat-singing, traditional and heavy metal – love it!


Excellent online course on The European Discovery of China,  with the wonderful Professor Dolores Folch.   A fantastic resource, and it is free!  Amongst lots of excellent material, it uses the QingMing festival handscroll (Ming dynasty version).

Mind-expanding book on The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan.

BBC radio podcasts include much on Chinese culture & history:

Chinese objects showing dissent, from the BM exhibition 2018.

Other podcasts (I have referenced the websites, but you need to find the podcasts themselves through your normal podcast platform):


BBC’s Wild China series is available on DVD.

Channel 4’s  Between Clouds and Dreams, & Beyond the Clouds.

Culture & Artefacts

Chinese porcelain.

A rather nice series of books on different aspects of Chinese culture, artefacts, architecture etc – compact format, not expensive, colour pictures and dual English & Chinese text.   There are lots of different subjects, from poetry to lanterns, bridges to pagodas, scholar objects to the Tea-Horse Road.  For example, here are 3 on clothing.

They are available from Hanshan Tang (selected titles) and Purple Culture (all titles).

Handling old books – definitely no gloves!


yuansu zhouqi biaoThe Periodic Table in Chinese – each element is just one character, which includes radicals that tell you if the element is a metal 釒,  a gas  , a liquid 水or a non-metal solid 石.   This video could help you write and pronounce them.


A Bite of China, from CCTV, so perhaps take with a pinch of C5H8NO4Na.

Tai Chi

My friend Anita teaches Tai Chi in Surrey, and Sylvia in Kent at Hayes and West Wickham.