Voices from East Asia - A MA students' blog
Foto: Anna Ahlers
East Asia – a far away world region, with growing influence on us all. But beyond the headlines about dizzying economic growth rates, Confucianism, and Gangnam Style, what do we actually know about it? How do voices from East Asia interpret phenomena in their societies as well as the rest of the world?
This blog page presents East Asian perspectives on issues of general public interest. The student's projects complement, sometimes challenge, established common public knowledge on East Asian societies, their history and culture. Based on in-depth research using original sources in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan or other East Asian languages, students of the IKOS’ Master programs in East Asian studies share their colorful insights with us.
Smog is a specific type of air pollution resulting from a complex of industrialization and modernization. The concept of smog is new to China. In the 21st century, having experienced severe smog across all of China, people recognized the haze filling the skies was no longer simply fog but a result of polluted air. The perception of this specific air pollution came from the direct experience of smog, and the use of the modern term wumai (雾霾, smog).
How the most influential liberal newspaper in China welcomes the birth of American authoritarianism.
The explosive growth in the Chinese wind energy industry has been widely praised, and rightfully so. The industry has developed immensely – both in scale and quality – in a very short time. Alongside hydropower, it offers the most promising alternative to coal energy in the world’s most populous country. However, not enough notice is paid to the significant contribution of a century worth of wind energy development in the West in facilitating the Chinese miracle. Catching up to its western counterparts, China cannot rely on others to facilitate further growth. If the “Chinese wind Miracle” is to continue, China must become a leader, driving wind energy development and innovation.
Being gay in China is not easy. Powerful pressure from traditional Confucian ethics in society and from parents expect all young people to have children to carry on the family line. Faced with this dilemma, homosexual people in China are resorting to a resourceful solution: gays and lesbians are marrying each other.
Is it possible that North Korea is the stagnant society which has never gone through any changes in the several decades? Of course not. Newly-arrived defectors, many pictures taken by foreign tourists on the Social Network Service, and even experts research indicate that something is changing there. Something very different, but the most of Norwegian media deny to face.
Through imposing controversial restriction policies on car ownership, local city authorities in China have turned car license plates into scarce resources and are allocating them through auction or lottery measures, hoping to solve air pollution and traffic congestion problems fast. But with individuals' rights to private car ownership being violated and local officials’ corruption cases being exposed, the implication of China’s vehicle population control policy will be a bumpy ride.
“Pollution is present all around us. For example, in my hometown we have a few polluted rivers where the colour of the water has changed. Fish and everything else in the rivers has died.”
Student from Liaoning province in north China