Voices from East Asia

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Based on in-depth research using original sources in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Tibetan or other East Asian languages, students of the IKOS’ Master programmes in East Asian studies share their colourful insights with us.

Published May 11, 2021 2:15 PM

The root of all suffering, according to Buddhism, is craving—longing for objects of the senses and wanting things to be one way and not wanting them to be another. Freedom from suffering, on the other hand, is to be found in the extinction, or “nirvāṇa”, of this very craving. Naturally, the path of practice that leads to this goal has renunciation—letting go of the things we crave and desire—at its core.

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Published Apr. 15, 2021 1:20 PM

Når en landlig toglinje i Japan holder på å gå konkurs, setter firmaet inn en katt i rollen som stasjonmester. Populariteten og mediedekningen bruste rundt lykketalismanen Tama, katten som reddet Kishigawa Line. Hvordan kan vi forstå henne som symbol for hell og lykke?

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Published Mar. 23, 2021 9:12 AM

Hvordan kan Yoshiya Nobukos tenåringsromanser hjelpe oss å forstå skeive seksualiteter gjennom historien?

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Published Mar. 2, 2021 3:05 PM

China is a pretty big deal. A few things that come to mind are a massive population and vast territory; cultural and linguistic diversity; more than 1 billion native Mandarin speakers in the world; a rich literary and artistic tradition; a 5000 year civilizational history to boast of; and the 21st century is by many predicted to be defined by China’s rise to superpower status. There is plenty of fascinating stuff to immerse oneself in. These were some of the reasons I figured it was worthwhile to study Chinese Studies. I imagine the story is the same for many others. But due to the multidisciplinary nature of area studies, it is not clear what tools we bring to bear on the study of China. 

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Published Feb. 6, 2020 9:45 AM

Historically, propaganda has been an important political tool in China. Walking around in any city in China, posters with socialistic propaganda quotes and the 12 guiding principles of Chinese socialism, including democracy, freedom, integrity, equality and patriotism are not an uncommon sight. These guiding principles remind the Chinese citizens what the core values of their country are and what the country is built upon. This method of promoting propaganda is considered to be traditional and is rooted back to the Mao era when propaganda was posted or painted on walls. But earlier this year, current President of China Xi Jinping launched a new way of promoting political propaganda.

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Published Feb. 6, 2020 9:34 AM

Contemporary art may be in a unique position to function as a powerful means of communication. Through various art forms and expressions, contemporary artists all over the world are continuously working to present their takes on specific topics, concepts, emotions and experiences. By studying these expressions, and the creators behind them, we may increase our knowledge regarding different topics and perspectives that otherwise may have been difficult to comprehend or access. 

Published Feb. 6, 2020 8:54 AM

Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China, and has a long, interesting, and complex language history. Located in the south, most people in Hong Kong has Cantonese as their mother tongue, but as Hong Kong is a former colony of Britain, many also have a close relationship to English. As Hong Kong and Mainland China keep growing closer after the handover in 1997, the government is pushing for a trilingual and biliterate population in Hong Kong.

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Published Feb. 5, 2020 1:10 PM

Sunny October afternoon in downtown New York. Elbowing through the crowd of Chinatown with all the booths and shop sellers around makes one feel it is summer again (at least “Norwegian summer”). Finally, at the crossroad, it is time to turn right onto Mott street. Counting the house numbers to 62. This is the address from where the New York Chinese School has been promoting Chinese immigrants` native language, culture and heritage for 90 years. I am here to find out how the school has been doing this for decades, and to experience a typical workday afternoon in the school building.

Bildet kan inneholde: tak, rom.
Published Oct. 29, 2019 2:55 PM

A poet is often associated with an individual who is learned, capable of writing creatively and beautifully, where his compositions would be understood by and relatable to the public, even stirring emotions and touching hearts. On the other hand, migrant workers in China are mostly thought of as individuals born into a poor, usually rural, family; one who considers further education a luxury more than a necessity, and generally takes on menial jobs to make ends meet.

Published Apr. 9, 2018 3:06 PM

Kinesiske myndigheter har satt i gang et såkalt sosialt kreditt system i Kina. I 2020 skal systemet omfatte alle kinesiske statsborgere og alle kinesiske selskaper i Kina. Da systemet bygger på innsamling av store mengder digitale data, og beskyttelsen av personvern i Kina er minimal, så har systemet blitt sammenlignet med Minority Report og en episode i Black Mirror - hvor begge disse tegner et dystopisk bilde av digital overvåkning.

Vi reflekterer over dette, og andre spørsmål, i Itera sin podcast; “Iterasjoner - om kommunikasjon, teknologi og innovasjon fra Itera”.

Published Jan. 3, 2018 4:07 PM

On February 27, 1972 in the Bajiao Pavilion, Hangzhou, U.S. President Richard Nixon and the Premier of the People's Republic of China (PRC), Zhou Enlai, reached a final agreement after a series of negotiations. They initialed the famous Joint Communiqué of the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China, which announced the progression towards the normalization of U.S.-China relations.

Published Feb. 1, 2017 10:40 AM

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).

Published May 6, 2016 11:05 AM

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.

Published Apr. 6, 2016 4:40 PM

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.

Published Apr. 3, 2016 7:00 PM

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.

Published Apr. 16, 2015 11:37 AM

 “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