Gung Hay Fat Choy! May you be blessed with prosperity in the New Year. The first day of the Chinese lunar year is the most important of all Chinese festivals. Chinese New Year is celebrated with a sumptuous family meal, and kids are given lucky money in red envelopes. Want to learn more? Here are my recommendations for an online tour of China.
No study of China would be complete without understanding some of its long, rich history. Condensed China, written to "inform, enlighten, and attract netizens interested in China" is described by the author himself as "Chinese History: the Cliff Notes version" or "Chinese History's Greatest Hits." The site is easy to navigate, and fast to load (no graphics at all to slow you down). Come here for quick lessons about the dynasties of Tang, Ming, or Qing.
Discover China features three ways to learn more about China. Start with a virtual tour, a new one is added twice a month. Current tours include the Silk Road Trip, the Great Wall and the Forbidden City. The weekly-updated China Experience features cultural tidbits such as Chinese poetry, folk music, and recipes. And last, but not least, is the ultimate Chinese search tool Hyper-C, which allows you to both search and browse thousands of China-related Web sites.
Six Paths to China is home to six educational activities created as models for online learning. The most comprehensive are the WebQuests found at the end of the list. "Does the Tiger Eat Its Cubs?" challenges the reader to find the truth about reported mistreatment of Chinese orphans. "Searching for China" invites students to prepare a policy recommendation on U.S.-China relations. Students take the role of either senator, businessman, human rights activist, religious leader, museum curator or environmental activist. After researching their roles, each participant brings his individual perspective to the group project.