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Common Sense, Nonsense, and CantoSense

A ChinaSource Conversation


One of the many challenges in living cross-culturally is discovering that the notion of what constitutes common sense varies from culture to culture. What is common sense in one culture may not be common sense in the host culture. In fact, what is common sense in one culture may, in fact, be nonsense in another culture.

Now, thanks to Hannah Lau and I’Ching Thomas we can add a new word to our lexicon: CantoSense.

Hannah and I’Ching have started a video podcast called CantoSense in which they attempt to answer the question “Can we be fully Chinese and fully Christian?” Their answer to that question is, of course, a resounding Yes!

CantoSense,” they say, “is here to help navigate the complexities of Chinese culture through the Christian lens. As followers of Christ, let us not reject, but redeem the Chinese culture for the Kingdom.”

On this topic, they speak from experience. Hannah Lau, a Canadian-Chinese based in Hong Kong is a consultant and the author of Wherever You Go: A Conversation About Life, Faith, and Courage.She is also a former fellow co-worker here at ChinaSource (we miss you, Hannah!).

I’Ching Thomas is a Malaysian-Chinese living in Singapore and the author of Jesus: The Path to Human Flourishing: The Gospel for the Cultural Chinese (reviewed here on ChinaSource). She also teaches on issues related to contextualization in Chinese culture.

I caught up with Hannah and I’Ching on Zoom recently to learn more about this new project.  Among other things, we talked about how it came about and what they are hoping to accomplish with it, the origin of the name CantoSense, and some of their plans going forward.

Here is the video of the conversation.

They post new video podcasts each week to their YouTube page. Check it out to see past episodes.

In addition, you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @CantoSense.

If you would like to contact them directly with questions or suggestions for future topics, you can do so through their social media platforms or by sending an email to havecantosense@gmail.com.

Thanks, Hannah and I’Ching for launching this podcast. It is a valuable resource, not only for those who are ethnically Chinese, but for those of us who aren’t but are seeking to have a deeper understanding of our Chinese friends.  

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman

Joann Pittman is Vice President of Partnership and China Engagement and editor of ZGBriefs. Prior to joining ChinaSource, Joann spent 28 years working in China, as an English teacher, language student, program director, and cross-cultural trainer for organizations and businesses engaged in China. She has also taught Chinese at the University …View Full Bio


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