Can foreigners “eat spicy?” A meditation on our love affair with the chili pepper.
In Chinese numerology, the number nine is associated with the principal of Yang, the masculine complement of Yin in the Yin/Yang system. Today is the ninth day of the ninth month in the Lunar-Solar calendar (hence the name “Double Yang/Double Brightness”). While Yang is generally considered a good thing, too much of anything can throw a system out of balance. When systems are out of balance, as the 84-year-old auntie who lives on your hutong will remind you every day this winter, people get sick.
As a teacher at a study abroad program here in Beijing, I feel it's my duty not only to introduce the wonders of Chinese civilization to impressionable young minds from America but also to keep them safe. Each year, it is customary for me to prepare a short talk to acquaint the students with the Spring Festival. Happy New Year to all and stay safe.