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South Asian Studies

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We can all be guilty of making sweeping generalisations about nationalities and cultures. But not all Dutch are liberal; not all Brazilians can dance, and not all New Zealanders like rugby. So it should come as no surprise to you that not all Chinese people are into pop music. Especially when it com
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Sometimes you don't know quite what you're doing and why you're doing it, until you sit down one day and take the time to evaluate it. And that's the day you might realise that the meaning of your work has somehow morphed into something you hadn't planned. In order to reach this realisation, it hel
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Some say that young people are impatient, and are only on the look-out for short-term gratification. Not so with Douglon Tse, who spent his formative years pursuing a long-term vision for his life. This pursuit has led him and his wife to a unique island in China, which he describes very vividly in
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There is a lot being said around the world these days about racism and discrimination. Quite rightly. But pointing fingers and throwing accusations often achieves nothing. The thing that changes attitudes, at a human level, is both fundamentally simple, and embarrassingly difficult. It's casual asso
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When you live overseas, in some ways you take a leap into a new identity. You need to figure out how to fit into a new culture, while remaining true to your authentic self. Well, it's exactly the same story when your brand goes overseas. And when introducing your brand overseas, it's important to ge
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Buildings, buildings, buildings. There has been a decades-long construction boom in China, and behind every building is an architect. Wendy Saunders has witnessed this boom, and as Co-Owner and Principal Architect of AIM Architecture, has created a niche in boutique design projects. In today's epi
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Personally coming from a business background where my main tools of trade have just been a laptop and a phone, I’m always impressed with people with complex and audacious business ideas. And Alex Shoer is one of those people.   In today's episode, Alex tells the story of the 'Solarcoaster' - the d
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If there's one animal that is synonymous with the Tibetan Plateau, it's the yak. It has historically played a huge role in the diet, culture, and livelihood of the nomadic people of Tibet, and this symbiotic relationship endures until today.   My guest today is Danmajyid, who represents a new gene
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China is the largest market in the world for beer in terms of volume. And Belgium is a country with a long history of brewing, dating back to the 12th Century. So what better guest to have on the podcast than Sean Harmon, the China head of the premium Belgian beer company Duvel Moortgat, probably be
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In China, craftsmen are not always venerated as artisans. Instead, they are often denigrated as low-status workers. But there is a design team based in the Zhejiang countryside that is doing its best to turn this around, curating the myriad ancient crafts that can be found across China before they d
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We all know what to expect in a theatre. We all know what to expect in an art gallery. But in which of these worlds does Performance Art belong?  One answer is the Ming Contemporary Art Museum (McaM) in Shanghai, and one person who can explain this world is the artist and curator, Zhang Yuan. Yuan's
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Pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding should be things that are universally understood around the world. But guess what... they're not. Societal conventions and traditions have created a disassociation between what is 'natural' and what is 'expected', leading to both cultural confusion and generat
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The art of drag, with its emphasis on exaggerated costumes and makeup, has gained mainstream popularity around the world, particularly over the last decade. And China is no exception. While drag in the West can trace its roots from Elizabethan England up to the underground queer scene of New York, d
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Shanghai is one of those magical places where people can somehow become who they were always supposed to be. This is what happened to Katherine Wong, who decided one day to quit her corporate job, and start earning a living by sharing her knowledge of traditional Peruvian remedies with customers in
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There are some professors who can justifiably be accused of living in their own little academic bubbles, but Professor Chang Chihyun is not one of them.  In today's episode, Chihyun talks about his experiences in the world of unversity education in China, and shares a few morsels of his knowledge of
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Food can be a window into a culture. But it can also be a barrier, especially when it comes to street food. Many can be intimidated to communicate with hawkers who often speak with strong dialects. And many can be turned off by hole-in-the-wall establishments, where there's no fancy décor, and defin
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With thirty years at L'Oréal, and fifteen of those in leadership roles in mainland China, Stéphane has made a career of anticipating trends in China, and catering to the needs of the powerful and illusive 'Chinese consumer'. In this episode, we discuss the art and science of consumer insight analysi
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Hello, I’m Oscar. In this trailer, I introduce the new features of Season 2 of the Mosaic of China podcast, including the PREMIUM version of the show that is now available on Patreon (https://patreon.com/mosaicofchina), and the new transcripts of the show (https://mosaicofchina.com/transcripts). The
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For this special end of season wrap-up episode, I asked my friend and fellow podcaster Josh Ogden-Davis to join me for a chat. We talk about things like interview techniques, the editing process, and some of the show’s influences. But the main reason for recording this episode was to announce what’s
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International diplomacy can deal with matters of global consequence such as trade and the environment. It can deal with the deeply personal aspects of helping nationals in distress overseas. And it can also deal with the mundane drudgery of working in a large bureaucracy. In my conversation with Tom
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Hello, I’m Oscar.  In this trailer, I introduce the podcast: why I’m doing it, it’s limitations, the guests lined up for Season 1, the interview format, the visual element and it’s integration with social media. See the visuals and join the community on Instagram (www.instagram.com/mosaicofchina), F
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At the time of recording, Philippe Gas was the President & General Manager of the Shanghai Disney Resort.   Philippe is one of the most charming business leaders I’ve met, and in this interview, we talk about his experiences in the five or so years that he has been with Disneyland in Shanghai, from
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This week’s recording is with Maple Zuo, an up-and-coming comedian based in Shanghai.  Maple has amazing energy, which I hope you can hear in this conversation. We start off by talking about her comedy set, and how her approach is different in English versus Chinese. But we then veer into some unexp
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My guest this week is Eric Olander, who has been a journalist in China off and on since 1989. His most recent incarnation has been with the China Africa Project, in which he reports on China’s huge and growing influence across that continent. And through that lens, Eric can talk eloquently and knowl
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