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China Politics The Netherlands

Lantern Festival

When I was a kid, my mother would string Chinese lanterns through our Christmas tree. There were maybe a dozen of those little white lights, each one painted and tasseled. I think they blinked, too. I remember sitting in front of that tree celebrating my very own lantern festival. Traditionally, Chinese lanterns are made with […]

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Craft Creative writing workshops

It’s All About Me

Memoir is hot these days. Michelle Obama’s Belonging is at the top of the New York Times bestseller list. Educated, a memoir written by Tara Westover, follows close behind. Last month, I sat in on a memoir writing class. Not because I want to write my life’s story but to cheer on the teacher, Ellen […]

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Shanghai

Lady Bankers

As a former lady lawyer, I’m sympathetic to professional women trying to make it in this day and age. Imagine, then, what that must have been like in 1920s Shanghai. The Shanghai Women’s Bank opened its doors in 1924. A woman founded that bank. She staffed it exclusively with women to cater to the specific […]

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About Karen Kao Amsterdam Chinese-American

Fork & Knife

The other day, I had a chat conversation about the word sommelier. One chat member had never heard it and went to look it up. Then the guy who introduced the term into the conversation confessed that he, too, had looked it up before using it in our chat. The subject of that chat was […]