Tag Archives: cultural shocks

A sausage machine called education

The red ball bounces across the classroom while about fifty pairs of kiddies’ eyes stare enthralled, counting the number of bounces, seven, eight, nine… The ball starts to roll and team three in the class roars out, “ELEVEN!” They had guessed eleven bounces and therefore their team gets points. I am teaching them numbers, and…

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On the politics of bottom-touching in China

I recently had a fresh cultural shock here in China: seven to 10-year-old kids, at the primary school I sometimes teach at, who have a fondness for running up and touching my backside. Including in class. I tried to understand the reason why. I think it’s because Westerners, by and large (forgive the pun), actually have butts. There…

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