China’s Stressed-Out Workers Are Rediscovering the Art of Meditation


SHANGHAI — In a downtown shopping mall, a crowd of office workers are spending their lunch breaks searching for spiritual harmony. Pulling back a heavy curtain, the group step into a meditation room and lie down on a row of cushions on the floor. Above them, stripes of indigo cloth ripple down from the ceiling like waves. The air is thick with the aroma of … Continue reading China’s Stressed-Out Workers Are Rediscovering the Art of Meditation

In ‘Involuted’ China, Eating Disorders Are a Hidden


SHANGHAI — At the entrance to a packed gallery stands a female figure dressed in a pretty white dress. Her body is covered in abusive messages scrawled in red and black ink. “You’re ugly,” “Your waist is too big,” “You look like a pig,” the notes read. The artwork is part of a landmark exhibition in China titled “Anti Body-Shaming,” which opened in Shanghai on … Continue reading In ‘Involuted’ China, Eating Disorders Are a Hidden

After a Year of Loss, Chinese Find Solace in ‘Death Cafés’


SHANGHAI — In 2019, while Feng Qing was traveling abroad, her beloved grandmother unexpectedly died. Feng couldn’t forgive herself for missing the last opportunity to spend time with the woman who had raised her. “I was crying all day,” she says. But Feng had nowhere to turn with her grief. Her parents certainly didn’t want to talk. As in so many Chinese families, there’d always … Continue reading After a Year of Loss, Chinese Find Solace in ‘Death Cafés’

The Broadway Show Trying to Change China’s Tune on Mental Illness


SHANGHAI – It’s Thursday evening, and there’s a long line snaking around the ticket office at Shanghai Culture Square Theater. People are waiting to collect their tickets to see a Chinese adaptation of the Broadway musical “Next to Normal.” Among them is 25-year-old Liu Mingzhu, who has bipolar disorder, and her best friend, for whom Liu is desperately trying to contain her excitement and not … Continue reading The Broadway Show Trying to Change China’s Tune on Mental Illness

The Chinese Couples Going Dutch on Literally Everything


JIANGSU, East China — Long before Hu Xing and her husband tied the knot, their families had already planned out their life together in minute detail. Over a series of meetings, the two sets of parents agreed their children’s union would be a marriage of equals. There would be no dowry, bride price, or betrothal gifts, and the families would split all subsequent costs 50/50 … Continue reading The Chinese Couples Going Dutch on Literally Everything