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tv   Asia Insight  PBS  October 21, 2015 6:30pm-7:01pm PDT

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an affluent residential neighborhood in shanghai, china. from a rental space in an apartment building, various courses on chinese culture are
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on offer. on this day, students are lea learnilear learning thai chi. the 300-year-old martial art combines slow, focused movements with deep breathingai chi. the 300-year-old martial art combines slow, focused movements with deep breathing exercises and has its roots in chinese philosophy. in the past, it was extremely difficult to master, but was simplified in the 1950s. tai chi are provided at $24 u.s. a lesson. most of the students here are non-chinese. >> i see people do it in the park here and i always wanted to try it. >> i wanted to get to know the chinese culture a little bit more and i thought it would be a great experience. >> it really -- it just relaxes
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my mind a lot. >> at present, there are more than a hundred foreign students. and the number keeps growing. the arts and philosophies of china have developed over thousands of years. and as the world pays more attention to the country as an economic super power, more and more people are moving there to study the culture. >> the greek spirit at some point met chinese wisdom. >> it's always nice. it's nice to have -- >>
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passed on for generations. now that the country is more open, what are outsiders discovering? and what draws them to this fascinating country? >> shanghai, a city in which futuristic buildings and ancient streets sit side by side. over 6 million foreign nationals visit shanghai each year. and it has the largest number of foreign residents in china. its reputation continues to grow as a global metropolis. these youngsters get around town on a unique form of transport.
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these battery powered single wheelers are becoming all the rage. priced at around $900, they're allowed on bicycle paths, and can be seen cruising around fashionable parts of the city. >> it's famous in europe, yeah. starting to. it is an invention here in china. when i wanted to buy it, i bought it from him. so then he include me and -- to the -- >> eduardo gayone used to work at a university in his native spain. he resigned in august and decided to move to shanghai.
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he says he came to china because he fell in love with the language which he originally studied in hawaii. >> all became when i discovered the word crisis in chinese. inside the word, you can find two meanings. one is change and the other is opportunity. in europe, officially in spain, also, we had a crisis. when i realized that crisis means -- can mean also that, then i fell in love with this. and i thought, how nice would be to also think about crisis by this way. thinking about a crisis can be a change and an opportunity.
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>> the word crisis in chinese uses two characters. the first character means danger and the second one means opportunity or change. each chinese character represents a monosylabbic word. but when combined, there are a vast number of words that consistent of multiple syllables. in between job hunting, eduardo takes chinese language classes five days a week. his level is intermediate and lessons focus mainly on conversation skills. chinese is the oldest surviving language in existence. it has more than 100,000 dialects and the number keeps
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rising. chinese calligraphy derives from these characters and is an intangible cultural heritage recognized by unesco. it is the best way to learn about china. >> i like very much the way of changing. all this healthy activities and everyday life. and i would like to include that into my life, as well. >> some 300 students from 98 different countries attend the school.
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in the past, most students were ex pats. but now many are people who moved to shanghai to pursue their hobbies and interests. >> where are you from? >> i'm from turkey, istanbul. i think in terms of art and design, it's a really interesting place to be, very dynamic city. so that's why i wanted to move back. i teach art and i also am a freelance designer. >> i think people are more open than especially the north of europe. there it's closed. so here it's kind of different -- the way that people treat you. >> i think the highlight of the culture for me. and then, of course, everything that goes with the -- i don't know, the traditions and so on. that's why i'm learning the language, as well, and trying to get into the culture.
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>> studying and living in shanghai, however, isn't cheap. it's the most expensive city in china. and people are often startled by the high rents. a company was launched recently with the aim of assisting foreign nationals moving to china. integrate chinese life helps not chinese obtain visas, find homes and gives advice on day-to-day living. >> twis national nicholas moved
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to shanghai five years ago. he started this business in 2013 and joined forces with the chinese friend this year.
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>> nicholas's six staff come from different countries. they communicate in english or chinese and offer services in six languages, including french, german and dutch. >> where are you from? >> i'm from holland. i came to shanghai in the beginning of august to look for a job or an internship and then i found nico and this office and i really, really liked it. >> i am from spain. >> why do you choose china? >> because -- mainland country. >> i know. i did because i really like the culture and also i wanted to learn the language. >> nicholas's staff all first came to china to learn about the arts and culture. nicholas also came for the same reason. it's a ten-minute walk from the office to nicholas's home.
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nicholas says his room is filled with something that got him hooked on chinese culture.
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>> nicholas says he got into chinese tea soon after arriving in shanghai and has been sipping it every day since. the best way to enjoy some chinese teas is to brew the same leaves in the pot several times. this creates subtle changes in the flavor and in some cases the taste can improve after using the same leaves ten times. nicholas is an avid and dedicated student.
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>> soon after arriving in shanghai, nicholas visited tiancha city, the city's main tea market. the 8,000 square meter compound hosts around 400 tea shops. some storms offer tastings and they say every kind of leaf can be found here.
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chinese tea is at the roots of the world's tea culture. it's history is over 2,000 years old and there are more than 1,000 types, all originating from the same plant. types vary depending on where and how the leaves are grown and processed. just 100 brands of some brands cost $48,000. nicholas began studying tea a year ago in the city. he comes twice a week and says he wants to experience every tea with his own taste buds.
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students always learn about the place where the leaves were harvested and produced. they are also taught about the best temperature for each tea and the optimal time for brewing. before moving on to the next type. historically, there have never
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been ceremonial preparations for appreciating chinese tea. the delicate flavors and fragrances are one of chinese teas. >> despite more than 2,000 tastings, nicholas always loved to make new discoveries.
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. >> it's a typical morning scene that can be seen in any chinese park. around 7:00 a.m., locals do exercises accompanied by music.
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>> chinese culture and its various arts have been lovingly passed down by everyday people over many generations. but during its long history, there is a period when many were banned by the authorities. the cultural revolution lasted for ten years. it was a movement to preserve true communist ideology. with religion and some art,
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philosophy and literature and everything else perceived to be against communist ideology eventually suppressed. in mid-september, a look launch party was held at a luxury shanghai hotel. the book, entitled tea with kong tsu is about the teachings of confushus, the great ancient chinese philosopher. >> and then have people think for themselves. my intention is not to spoon-feed anybody. >> its author is greek national
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peter alasazas who spent three years writing the book. >> if there is enough interest for me as far as what was it that enticed me to write this book were two thing is things. first, corruption. but corruption not only in this country. it's not about the corruption in china. make no mistake about it, because there's corruption everywhere in the world. in the confusion, i think you add moral persuasion, what's right and what's wrong. they try to create system of beliefs. i think this is very key. >> the more i read a book, the move i love it.
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some are -- i'm so surprised. after i know him, he told me that he write a book about confusus and i say, wow, he is a foreigner and he is really interesting about chinese culture. so i think it's so attractive myself. he has a launch event here so i'm really interested about confusus. i think the story like peter is really unique. and he really understands the -- >> peter works for the sheraton hotel in central shanghai. he's employed as their chief
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adviser and has experience working at hotels in 11 countries over 30 years. he first became familiar with confusus when reading philosophy in his 20s. >> there's one thing i like that the chinese -- you have a lovely, beautiful saying. when you think for yourself, you think with your head. but when you think for ourselves, you think with your heart. it says it all. >> peter became familiar with several great philosophers. but it was confusus who he is particularly drawn to. >> in my mind, actually, i don't particularly think like that. i think that -- and i don't particularly have a favorite because i think everybody made a
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contribution. i always like to say, for example, that the greek spirit at some point met chinese wisdom. what is known is that china had a much older history, only it wasn't recorded. there's no recorded history. i think that at one point in china's history his teachings were interrupted. he was not in favor. especially during the cultural revolution for a ten-year period. nobody was talking about him. nobody wanted to know about his principals, his teachings and his ethics. however, i believe this is changing. >> it was the valuable advice of a friend that encouraged peter to publish his book.
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chairman of the china cultural congress also wrote a book on confusus' teachings. >> the idea is not to intrude. the idea, i think, is to reacquaint people and start thinking more about the values which he taught and -- >> unfortunately, we do not have religions. >> that's not the way. unfortunately, many people -- keep in mind, they have some ideas there. better, stronger.
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so i think confusus is the key to china to be at -- country. >> he believes now that china is wealthy, there are many aspects of chinese cultural that could be revised. through their studies of chinese culture, it could be foreign nationals who are filling that gap and creating a bridge between china and the rest of the world.
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hello there welcome to "newslin" it is thursday october 22 nd i'm catherine kobayashi in tokyo. britain and china signed a deal hailing a new relationship between their countries. the two leaders agree that china will invest more than $9 billion to build a nuclear power station. in exchange china will receive a 33.5% stake. the french firm edf is the lead ne


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