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China Expats and Culture Blog

Monica Chen

Monica Chen is a contributing writer at TutorMing. She grew up in California, before moving to New York to pursue a B.A. in Neuroscience at Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys food touring, painting, watching Youtube videos, and exercising.

Recent Posts

How Does Acupuncture Work?

Monica Chen | January 05, 2017

Acupuncture, 针灸 (zhēn jiǔ), has been practiced in China for thousands of years. Now it is becoming increasingly popular in the Western world, such as in the United States and Canada. The method of acupuncture involves inserting thin needles into the patient’s skin at varying depths. The needles go into different points of our body’s meridians, which, defined by Chinese medicine, are vital energy pathways. 气 (qì), our body’s vital energy, runs through these meridians and is important for the wellness of the entire body. Qi can also mean “gas” or “air,” and it is a central concept in other ancient Chinese practices, including feng shui, martial arts, and culinary culture.

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Dating in China And The Rise of "Naked Marriages"

Monica Chen | August 27, 2016

What are the differences between dating an American person versus a Chinese person? Of course, every individual relationship is different. The most generic and straightforward answer is that your relationship with the Western person is going to be more casual. Let's take a look at the detailed distinctions between the relationships.

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Chinese Medicine: Ban Lan Gen

Monica Chen | August 17, 2016

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板蓝根 (Bǎn lán gēn) has been used for over two thousand years in Chinese medicine as a cure for ailments caused by having too much bodily heat. The herbal remedy became especially popular in the 1950’s, when Mao Zedong called for medicines to be identified by their Western attributes, a change which suited ban lan gen. Today, it is widely popular in Chinese households as a way to combat the common cold and enjoys a growing influence in the West, where it is studied by research institutions for its antiviral properties.

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Chinese Food Explained: Hot Pot

Monica Chen | July 09, 2016

Hot pot can be eaten any way your heart desires, but believe it or not, there is a “correct” way to eat it. More accurately-speaking, there is a most-ideal method, since it is based on the time needed to cook various ingredients, and based on how to make the ideal broth throughout the meal. Read on to learn some essential knowledge about what hot pot is, how hot pot should be eaten, and why it is different from shabu-shabu!

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What is Pu'er Tea And Why Is It A Big Deal?

Monica Chen | April 19, 2016
What is Pu'er (or Pu-erh) tea?

Pu’er tea, 普洱茶(Pǔ'ěr chá), is a special type of aged and fermented tea. It is from the Yunnan province, 云南省 (Yúnnán Shěng), which is located in southwest China (南 means ‘south’). The name of pu’er tea is actually protected by the Chinese government to be a product of specific regions of the Yunnan province, which goes to show how special this tea is. In the past, drinking pu’er tea was for the royalty, and only the finest of tea leaves were collected for the emperors’ pu’er tea. It also became a popular trade product, partially because it is a dark tea. Most importantly, pu’er is unique for its extremely useful health benefits.

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Chinese Food Explained: TangYuan

Monica Chen | February 24, 2016

汤圆 (tāng yuán) are glutinous rice balls stuffed with varying flavors of paste filling. It is a traditional Chinese dessert, a light yet tasty option for both festivals or for an after-meal desserts with family.

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