New Asia College, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Waiting for the Bus
We had a long but uneventful flight; some of us were able to find whole rows to sleep in, and others have decided that if the flight back home is empty, they will find rows as soon as the plane doors shut! Jeff says that it hasn’t hit yet that he’s in China, but he’s sure that it will hit soon. We arrived at Chinese University of Hong Kong with no problems, and right away met with some anthropology faculty at CUHK. While waiting to meet our dinner companion, Prof. Sidney Cheung, we stood gazing out over the CUHK landscape from our vantage at the top of the campus which is built into a mountainside. Liz feels that she was still looking at a postcard instead of a landscape.
A major part of doing anthropological fieldwork is taking fieldnotes, as Liz Jackson is doing above, while we are waiting for the student cafeteria to open for breakfast. Fieldnotes are the primary source of documentation that the students will later rely upon to do their analysis and write up their research results. Everyone is expected to spend at least one hour per day writing up their fieldnotes — descriptions of what they observed, people that they talked to, and their overall impressions of things that happened that day. Fieldnotes are often very personal — like a diary or journal, they are subjective interpretations of what the writer experienced.
Waiting for the Boat
Becca and Jen are waiting for the ferry, as we all are, to take us back to Hong Kong island. We spent the day at Lamma Island, to see globalization in action. Prof. Sidney Cheung took all of us to Lamma Island because of its rapid growth and diversity. Many expatriates have moved to Lamma Island because of its proximity to Central and the lifestyle. Lamma Island has a mix of old Hong Kong communities, waterfront housing and beaches that make for an eclectic mix — small Chinese stores selling pita bread. On Lamma Island, we visited a Tin Hau (Cantonese for Tian Hou, the “Empress of Heaven”) temple, and then ate lunch at a restaurant/bookstore/community center that served western-style vegetarian food. We’re getting ready to leave for Shanghai tomorrow.
Enroute to Shanghai
Members of the Butler China 2001 fieldwork team have complained that the camera has only been pointed at them, and not at me. So, in the spirit of fair play and solid anthropological methodology, the camera was turned by Jeff Payne towards the anthropologist during our plane ride to Shanghai. The flight was uneventful, and we arrived safely at the Institute for International Cultural Exchange at Fudan University. We met with Pan Tianshu, a Harvard anthropology PhD candidate and classmate of Fuji’s, who introduced the cultural environment of Shanghai to the team over a wonderful meal of “Xinjiang”-style food — Xinjiang is a western province of China with many minorities (Tibetan, Central-Asian Muslim).