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Our volunteer Kevin Schneider is happy to bring to you his thoughts on one of the books which is related to Chinese Arts and Culture in our library collection: A Traveller’s History of China by Stephen G. Haw—
Before I travelled to China for the first time, I had not known much about it. I only knew what I had heard from other people or the media and remembered from novels and textbooks. To be honest, all that piecemeal of information was too dissimilar, disconnected, and vague to really give me an idea about how China was going to be for me as a traveller and what had shaped the country over the last few thousand years to make it what it is now, a patchwork held together by the firm string of Chinese history and identity. It was hard to understand the multitude of influences of religion and philosophy, geography and trade relationships, education and competition, war and politics on contemporary Chinese society. After coming across and reading “A Traveller’s History of China” by Stephen G. Haw in the Ricefield Library, I feel one more step closer to “get it”. Many aspects became much clearer to me. The succession of dynasties, the rise and fall of the Chinese Empire, the effect of climate on people’s livelihoods in different regions of China, all of these left their traces on modern China. Some passages about long-gone periods of time felt like a déjà vu of things I had seen and experienced in China during my past trips there. To me this book was the missing thread guiding me through thousands of years of Chinese civilisation.
Compelled to read this book? Please check the availability here . Our library is opened on most Wednesdays 12:00-19:00 (check our EVENTS page for more details) All are welcome to visit and explore the treasures in reading whilst enjoying some delicious teas.