China Straight Up

Relevant, engaging, fun

Have you noticed that China seems to be making its way into your life more and more in recent years? We can hardly avoid hearing something about China when we turn on the TV or flip through the headlines. Yet, for most Americans, China and its history, people, language, customs and culture, still seem remote and exotic, and maybe even intimidating or scary. Understandably, many respectfully relegate the study of these subjects to experts and scholars.

Too often and for too many, China invokes a monolithic concept: Chinese food, Chinese language, Chinese beliefs and Chinese fashion, among others. But can a country so vast and with such a massive population all march in unified step? Would you agree to any statement that began with ‘All Americans…’?

Yet these oversimplified ideas of ‘East’ and ‘West' are often held up for comparison: Chinese people have been portrayed as fundamentally opposite to so-called Westerners—their views on family, friendship, education, wealth, success and patriotism.

We, as curious and intelligent individuals, can do better than that, and with the China Straight Up project, we are here to help.

China Straight Up aims to bring to light the diverse yet unique aspects of Chinese people and society, with the hope of piquing your interest and leading to further inquiries and understanding about China, and all that it is reputed to represent. China Straight Up will deliver multiple series on different topics, the first of which is Great LOL of China with Jesse Appell, Beijing’s funniest American Comedian.

Our Series

  • series
    This 11-episode series follows Howie Southworth and Greg Matza as they make their way through China, but neither of them speaks Mandarin. Through their adventures and misadventures, we learn about China through a new and fascinating lens.
  • The Great LOL of China video series with Jesse Appell explores modern Chinese people and society from a foreigner’s perspective and an emphasis on the humor in cross-cultural misadventures.

Connect With Us

China Learning Initiatives
Asia Society
725 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10021
t: 212-327-9260


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