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By Steven W. Mosher

Having lived for 2 years between chinese language villagers, an anthropologist illuminates the styles and info in their lives and analyzes the results of political corruption, a black marketplace economic climate, and a crusade of coerced contraception.

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Example text

One acquaintance, just back from a year of intensive study of Chinese at the Beijing Language Institute, told me how he had been put up by the PRC government in a dormitory restricted to foreign students where he had met and made friends with Australians, Germans, Africans—students of various nationalities—but no Chinese. His instructors at the institute had been the only Chinese he had come into regular contact with. While they had been cordial enough in class, they had discouraged socializing after hours.

They had indeed been turned back by the guards, who evidently had taken one look at their plastic sandals, baggy trousers, and generally scruffy appearance, marked them for peasants, and denied them entrance. They had waited immediately outside the gate for a while, but a guard had shortly come out again and waved them along, warning them against loitering. Still thinking that this misunderstanding would be cleared up as soon as the guards saw that I knew them, I attempted to lead them back through the gate.

To my astonishment, a guard came charging out of the sentry box to order my friends back out of the compound. I attempted to explain that these three villagers were my guests, that we were merely going to have lunch together, but my entreaties fell on deaf ears. The guard didn’t even look my way when I spoke to him, so engaged was he in demanding of my companions, in a loud and imperious tone of voice, what they thought they were doing by trying to enter the hotel again. After a minute of this I finally caught the guard’s attention by stepping between him and my friends, and quickly explained that I was a guest in the Dongfang Hotel, that these comrades were my guests, and that I was inviting them to lunch.

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