From the West Courtyard

From the West Courtyard—thoughts about working and serving in China from our staff and others with experience and insight to share. 

The name comes from a Chinese phrase that was taught in an early 1900s Chinese language curriculum, “有一个人,从西院子过来,”meaning “a man came over from the west courtyard." The idea of moving from west to east, of journeying between these two courtyards, reflects our desire to root our observations in the non-western context and allow the local Chinese context to determine what is culturally normative for life and work in China. 

Opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed by ChinaSource.   

Oct 7

From the Farm to Xiao Feng’s Plate

Making Sense of China’s Economic Turmoil

by Brent Fulton

Making sense of Cbina's economic slowdown. 

Oct 5

China Expert? Far from it!

by Joann Pittman

Anyone who comes to you claiming to be a "China expert" is either deluded (and thus to be pitied), lying (and thus suspect), or out to separate you from your money (and thus to be avoided).

Oct 2

How Important Is Education for Chinese Serving Cross-culturally?

by Tabor Laughlin

In recent years Chinese cross-cultural workers have started to be sent out to other countries but there has not been a great amount of effectiveness in their work. One reason for their lack of effectiveness is that many who want to serve cross-culturally do not have formal education, often having not gone to high school, much less to college.

Sep 30

Our First 13 Days

by Jason Odell

If you ever move to a major city in Southwest China to study an obscure language at a Chinese university, perhaps the following insights from our first thirteen days will aid your transition.

Sep 28

Mr. Xi Goes to Washington

by Joann Pittman

A look at the news and analysis about President Xi Jinping's US visit. 

Sep 25

Chinese Christianity

More Chinese, or More Global?

by Brent Fulton

The church in China—more Chinese or more global? 

Sep 23

3 Questions: Carol Lee Hamrin

Regarding China’s National Security Commission

by Brent Fulton

From the series 3 Questions

A ChinaSource "3 Question" interview with Dr. Carol Lee Hamrin about China’s National Security Commission.

Sep 21

Millennial Migrants

by Joann Pittman

While living in Beijing, I came to know well a migrant family. They had arrived in Beijing in the mid-1990s and had managed to find good jobs and earn enough money to buy an apartment and start a family. Even though they did not have a Beijing hukou, they managed to get their children into a decent school. It was interesting to watch the children grow up, because clearly they saw themselves more as urbanites, even though they technically weren’t.

Sep 18

Comparing Peaches and Coconuts

More on Indirect Communications

by Joab Meyer

From the series Communicating Cross-Culturally

When we encounter cross-cultural differences like the indirect communication style featured in my recent post on the rule of three we have a choice. You either complain about the difference and become frustrated or seek to understand it better and adapt. 

Sep 14

"Builders of the Chinese Church"

A Book Recommendation

by Joann Pittman

If you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend reading Builders of the Chinese Church: Pioneer Protestant Missionaries and Chinese Church Leaders, edited by Wright Doyle and Carol Hamrin.