Chinese vs Kiwi approach to using the library

Interesting incident at the Parnell library (behind our Euroasia Parnell campus) today. Chinese lady walked up to counter with granddaughter, wanting to return a book. She said this in Chinese but obviously the Kiwi librarian had no clue what she was on about. Chinese lady asked granddaughter to translate. But the 3 year-old looked clueless. In the midst of the confusion I walked up to assist.

I explained to the Chinese lady that returns simply go into the box.

Chinese lady was shocked. She

asked how would the library know if the book was returned. What if the book goes missing?

I asked her not to worry but she wasn’t convinced. I explained to her this is how it works and assured her the books are safe.

It’s difficult for Kiwis to understand what the fuss is all about. Why can’t these Chinese folk just drop their books in the returns box like everyone else?

It’s also difficult for Chinese to understand why books aren’t returned over the counter. Who’s responsible if the books are stolen?

It’s inevitable. Our history and upbringing influence the

way we think and act.

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Euroasia Christmas message – Joyeux Noël

The team at Euroasia has put together a short video message, wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. You'll have to guess who's saying what. If you're playing this at the office, try not to laugh too hard ok. We don't want to get you in trouble.

p/s:If you can

9;t see the video here, check out the youtube clip at http://nz.youtube.com/watch?v=tzGqluc0kNs – Don't miss the outtakes ok

Our office closes on 19 December, and will reopen on 5 January for the 2-week intensive programme (2 weeknights + Sat half day).

At the start of next year you have 3 intakes to choose from:
5 Jan and 19 Jan for Fasttrack programmes
2 Feb for the standard courses.

Enrol online now, or talk to us about buying a gift voucher for a loved one. Looking forward to having you back next year. online canadian pharmacy

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Weiji: Crisis = Danger + Opportunity?

In the context of the current economic situation we’re in, I often hear it mentioned that the Chinese word for “crisis” (wēijī) consists of two syllables that are written with two separate characters, wēi and jī. The idea behind this is that whenever there’s a crisis, there’s an element of danger, but also an element of opportunity.

Sounds good in theory, but like many other urban myths, there’s little truth in it.  Victor H. Mair, professor of Chinese language and literature at the University of Pennsylvania, wrote a detailed article explaining the flaws in this line of reasoning, but I’ll just summarise this for you.

Chinese character wei 危
Chinese character ji1 in simplified form 机
Chinese character ji1 – in traditional form 機

Prof Mair’s contention is that the definition of as “opportunity” is flawed. While it is true that wēijī does indeed mean “crisis” and that the wēi syllable of wēijī does convey the notion of “danger,” the syllable of wēijī most definitely does not signify “opportunity.” According to Prof Mair:

The jī of wēijī, in fact, means something like “incipient moment; crucial point (when something begins or changes).” Thus, a wēijī is indeed a genuine crisis, a dangerous moment, a time when things start to go awry. A wēijī indicates a perilous situation when one should be especially wary. It is not a juncture when one goes looking for advantages and benefits.

Those who purvey the doctrine that the Chinese word for “crisis” is composed of elements meaning “danger” and “opportunity” are engaging in a type of muddled thinking that is a danger to society, for it lulls people into welcoming crises as unstable situations from which they can benefit.

Adopting a feel-good attitude toward adversity may not be the most rational, realistic approach to its solution.

In such perilous times, we must confront the brutal truth, but at the same time not give up hope. If Warren Buffett is buying now, surely we have to stand up and take note.

I’m a firm believer in the idea of buying when others are selling, and capturing opportunities in times of crisis. Unfortunately we can’t use the Chinese word for “crisis” (wēijī) to support this line of reasoning.

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