Focus on Dalian - Issue 28
May / June Issue
COMMUNITY & THE ARTS / 社会与艺术 W e Westerners come to China to teach for a variety of reasons: to experience an adventure of a lifetime, pad our résumés, explore natural or historic scenery,escape a dead economy or a dead-end job, awaken our spirituality and be meaningfully involved in an emerging culture, to name a few. ing of each day brings new opportunities to discover things—not in any analytical or organized way that Westerners might expect—but in a slapdash, quirky, mercurial way. Chinese life is definitely haphazard on the surface, yet underneath the chaos is an ageless tenacity that endures. Loved ones back home worry about us. In their minds, the longer we remain ensconced in Dalian, the less likely we are to return to our homelands. It is true that some of us have ‘gone native,’ signing extended leases and making lifelong friendships with special Chinese people near and dear to our hearts. Perhaps our families’ and friends’ fears are well founded. If Austria is a Viennese waltz, and Brazil is a sizzling samba, China is freeform musicplayed with ancient instruments. The dawn28 | focus on dalian | may - june 2012 • Chinese administrators of Dalian universities are “open to new ideas,”“willing to integrate Chinese and Western faculty for the betterment of academics,” and “appreciate foreign teachers for what we can contribute.” • Colleagues were like “friends from the start” and “provided a feeling of camaraderie and neighbors away from home.” • Personal fulfillment statements abound, like “I’m making a difference here every day” or “this is where I am meant to be right now.” • Dalian environment is “not too hot, not too cold, just right,” although some noted that the environment here is not as clean as it was even just five years ago. Why do some foreign teachers survive and others throw in the towel? Clearly, those who succeed a year or two of teaching in China with good marks have proved themselves to be self-reliant, resilient and adaptable. But there’s more at work here than surviving laowai boot camp, for more Westerners have grown and continue to grow more comfortable in China, especially in Dalian, whose 24 universities ensure steady employment for qualified teachers and, yes, even those not qualified but willing and able. Expatriates in Dalian have at least one thing in common: China has gotten under our skin, allowing us to not only tolerate ambiguity, but deal with it as an evolved art form ‘with Chinese characteristics.’ • The students and their culture “value education in general and teachers in particular.”Most students are eager to learn, “their minds like sponges ready to soak up what I have to share.” No ‘method-in-their-madness’ explanation exists. Day-to-day life here can be enchanting or downright impossible to decipher, like scribbled notes across the I Ching. What is the glue that makes expats stick around Dalian? Asking this question of colleagues brought a variety of answers: It would be nice to think that we were all drawn here for a purpose. After all, it is said that people want to be part of something greater than themselves. What that greater purpose is, no one can state. We can only say that a wonderful assortment of educators is assembled in Dalian, only some of whom wonder what lies ahead. In the meantime, we can keep in mind that living in the moment is its own reward. After all, the Great Wall wasn’t built in a day. VAPORIZING RARE AGARWOOD 云社闻香 One of the pleasures of working with Focus is that you get to see interesting places and meet interesting people around Dalian. Recently we were introduced to a very ancient form of ‘aroma-therapy’. Agarwood is resin-rich heart wood that develops in response to certain types of mold infections. Small portions of this rare and fragrant wood are vaporized using a glowing ember buried in ash in a small cauldron. The cauldron is passed around and the vapor is inhaled. The result is a remarkably tranquilizing effect on body and mind. 在东方视野《Focus on Dalian》 工作的乐趣之一是可以拜访很多有趣的 人和地方。最近我们参观了大连云社闻 香馆，古色古香的氛围让人的心情倍觉 沉静，工作人员为我们演示了“隔火熏 香”的过程，不直接点燃香品，而是先 点燃一块木炭，把它大半埋入香灰中， 再在木炭上隔上一层传热的薄片（如云 母片），最后再在薄片上面放上香品， 虽然如此慢慢的“熏”香不如“烧”香 来得简单，但其香气释放得更加舒缓， 香味更为醇和宜人，能让人的身心得到 平静和放松。 may - june 2012 | focus on dalian | 29 COMMUNITY & THE ARTS / By Liang SUN (AuShi Cross Cultural Training Instructor) 30 | FOCUS ON DALIAN | MAY - JUNE 2012 印象法国自由浪漫 走近海昌・波尔多庄园 By Xu Hongchao may - june 2012 | focus on dalian | 31 COMMUNITY & THE ARTS / 社会与艺术 By Claude Marechal On March 17th, the French Alliance held an art exhibition in the Art Gallery, situated near Sheng Li Qiao. present for this special occasion and played popular songs, adding some party flavor. The event showcased two artists: Libin (李滨) and Dorian Malovic, Chinese and French respectively. Also, typical French pastries such as croissants and brioche were available, along with some fine wines in order to please the connoisseurs. The former is a famous local painter, renowned for the complexity of his works. The latter is a writer, photographer and journalist from Paris, best known for his analysis of Chinese culture. This cultural exchange drew the attention of over 180 spectators for the opening day and, without the shadow of a doubt, was the place to be to celebrate the friendship between these two countries! The concept was actually to introduce France from a Chinese point of view and then to introduce China through the eyes of a French citizen. Far away from the usual clichés or stereotypes, this art exhibition recently moved to France. The French singer Frederick and his band, Fooled, were also 32 | focus on dalian | may - june 2012 Let’s hope it will have as much success there as it had here in Dalian! 3月17日（星期六），法语联盟 在位于胜利桥附近的大连艺术展馆 举办了一场艺术展。 此次展览展出了来自中国的李滨 和来自法国的Dorian Malovic两位艺 术家的作品。 李滨是大连当地的画家，以其作 品的复杂性而闻名。Dorian Malovic 是一位来自法国巴黎的作家，摄影师 及记者，最著名的是其对中国文化的 分析。 本次展览的主旨是从中国人的 角度介绍法国，以法国人的眼光介 绍中国。 法国乐队Frederick受邀参加， 演出了经典曲目，为展览增加了亮 丽色彩。 展览上还为鉴赏者提供法式甜 点（牛角面包，奶油蛋卷）及美味 红酒。 此次文化交流活动吸引了180位 观众，毫无疑问，这也是加强中法 两国友谊的事情。 值得一提的是，这个艺术展最近 会在法国进行。 希望能像在大连一样成功！ Movie Review Real Steel MAY - JUNE 2012 | FOCUS ON DALIAN | 35 40 | FOCUS ON DALIAN | MAY - JUNE 2012 MAY - JUNE 2012 | FOCUS ON DALIAN | 41 Jazz in Dalian (part 2) By Bas Overtoom EAP - EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM 68 | focus on dalian | may - june 2012 为什么你的员工精神萎 靡，工作主动性不高？为什么 你用物质来激励员工，效果却 并不理想？为什么你抱怨员工 没有积极性，而又对此无能为 力？试试吧——梳理员工的内 在情感，抚慰员工的心灵也许 是一种有效的方法。在很多情 况下，员工面临的是心理的困 惑、情绪的起伏和情感的迷 茫。这些心理和精神的死角， 往往容易被企业所忽略。在美 国，长期以来流行的员工帮助 计划(EAP)的服务，就是帮助 解决影响员工工作表现的心理 和行为问题的一种有效工具。 EAP是一套系统的心理 预防和干预服务体系，它通过 预防、发现和解决员工个人 的、涉及到生产力的相关心理 问题，从而提高员工的工作绩 效和企业的生产效率。 目前，世界500强公司中 90%的企业为员工提供EAP 服务。EAP的服务通常包括： 心理体验、危机处理、管理 咨询、心理培训、员工派遣调 迁、国际员工援助等。有研究 表明，企业为EAP投入1元， 可以节省运营成本5-16元。 对企业而言，不管员工的问题 来源于工作，还是来源于个人 的缺点，其结果总是与工作相 关的。因此，作为老板要意识 到一个问题：即，所有的问题 都是有成本的。 虽然压力造成的身体和 心理反应是员工个人的负担和 痛苦，但这些极大地影响着工 作效率。 你可以买到一个人的时 间，可以买到一个工作岗位， 可以买到一种技术操作，但是 你买不到热情，买不到创造 性，买不到全身心的投入，然 而，你不得不设法争取这些。 Contact: Joven Zheng, Psychological Counselor 郑晶文 心理医师 Email: email@example.com Blog: http://blog.sina.com.cn/babyjoven may - june 2012 | focus on dalian | 69 By Axel Right FD: First of all, can you tell us whatCrossFit is? R: According to the official CrossFit (CF) website, CF is the principal strength and conditioning program for many police academies and tactical operation teams, military special operation units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide. CrossFit is becoming more and more popular around the world, especially in the Western world but as usual, the official information, and reality differ. FD: What do you mean? A: He means that CF is not just for policemen or for well-trained super soldiers; no, I assure you that CF is for everyone. No matter what your age, sex, weight or religion – there is just one thing that is necessary to join the CF-team… FD: What is that? A: You should stop fearing your weaknesses!Many people won’t do anything new, difficult or unpredictable because they are afraid of failing, being ridiculed by other 80 | focus on dalian | may - june 2012 people or wasting time in vain. When you realize that taking care of your health is in your hands, you can start doing CF with us and CF will make you faster,more flexible,more self-confident and much stronger. FD: What about you two? Have you become faster, stronger, wiser or maybe richer? R: When I started doing CF I realized one terrible thing about my past, “I have wasted so much time”. I say this because normal gym-workouts and playing sports do not compare to CF, in terms of the positive influence it has had on me. Instead of doing active training for 20-30 minutes, my friends and I spent hours in gyms. We believed that our mere presence in the gym would automatically make us stronger and more handsome. It was the most immature delusion in my life (except that time in my childhood when I thought that sparrows are the offspring of doves). Now I do CF five times a week, 30 minutes per day, and it’s enough to achieve the results I need. FD: What about you, Alex? A: I can’t say that I have become wiser… R: He has, he has… A: But there’s no doubt that I’m in the best shape that I have ever been in my entire life. I have not become richer, because we don’t make money from CF, yet, but soon we will open a CFgym in Dalian and try to attract people. We believe that people will see the advantages of CF and join us, especially expats living here. FD: But how can you train people without experience, do you know what to do or do you just rely on the inexperience of trainees? R: Who said that we have no experience? Every Saturday morning and every Sunday morning we train a group of Chinese teenagers. There are more than 20 people in this group… FD: But you said that you don’t make money on CF;does that mean those children don’t pay money for the training? R: This training is given free of charge. Our good Chinese friend, Freddie, is the most effective SanDa coach in Dalian (SanDa is a modern Chinese form of Martial Arts). Freddie works for the Dalian government and one of his main tasks is to look for children from poor families, or orphaned children. Then, if the parents agree, Freddie takes these children to his “SanDa Center” where they live and train for free.