Dialogues about China is a series of readers targeted at Chinese language learners, deciphering the Chinese culture from all aspects. It is composed of 5 volumes, namely Material Culture, Psychological Culture, Behavioral Culture, Communication Culture and Institutional Culture. The series centers on such Chinese cultural issues as has attracted extensive attention among foreigners and answers certain questions regarding cultural exchange, blending and collision through dialogues and case analyses. The easy, popular language and splendid, lively pictures used in the series enable readers to get a clearer understanding of China and the life of Chinese people. This is the volume of Material Culture, which focuses on daily life matters. Questions are asked about concrete materials and answers given in an effort to describe the life of Chinese people in aspects such as diet, health care, housing, commuting and festivals, to reveal the new lifestyles such as “living as mortgage slaves/snails/ants/homebodies” and to introduce traditional arts relying on materials such as writing brushes, ink, paper, ink stones, stringed plucked instruments, chess, porcelain, paper-cuts, etc. By explaining the cultural connotations behind these lifestyles, the book ushers readers into the world of Chinese people. An MP3 disk comes with the book, including the recordings of all the dialogues and short passages in the book. Readers can read the book while listening, feeling the ambience of Chinese culture.
The author Dong Cui is a professor in ShenYang Normal University who has engaged in teaching Chinese as a foreign language, teaching Chinese culture and general social conditions and training overseas Chinese teachers for many years. Ms. Dong develops well-targeted Chinese teaching materials for the Confucius Institutes in Arabian areas. She is the chief author of An Overview of Chinese Culture.