Danwei TV

Sexy Beijing Sexy Christmas

In this episode of Sexy Beijing, Su Fei tries to find out what's up with the Christmas spirit that seems to have invaded China's capital.

What do Chinese people think about Christmas? Why do they celebrate it? And more importantly, what do they know about the Jewish holiday that she celebrates called Hanukkah?

Thanks to Die Kochmützen restaurant in Beijing for introducing the Danwei TV crew to Santa Claus, and for some great festive German food.

UPDATE: There's an interesting post on Jottings from the Granite Studio about Christmas in China: Christmas and cultural imperialism: Chinese PhD attempts to organize boycott

Sexy Beijing is now on its own website: check the latest episodes at www.sexybeijing.tv

There are currently 21 Comments for Sexy Beijing Sexy Christmas.

Comments on Sexy Beijing Sexy Christmas

Come on, interview more young people, i bet everyone who watches Friends knows about the Jewish festival of lights.

Terribly patronizing...disappointed.

Su Fei, whats up with the dia hua? Really lame, please stop. And who is writting your scripts, they're god-awful.

China is not your playground; remember, you are a guest here in this country.

I think the next episode should be shot in Israel, asking locals to identify different types of dim-sum.....thoughts?

we know why the westerners celebrate the xmas, but for us there'll never be a spiritual connection. for me and my friends, it's the only time in a year when we can go crazy without being judged by other people. we eat like we've been starved for weeks, we sing our heart out in KTV lounges and we dance till we are silly... it's just a over-commercialized holiday from the West. i think we are still Chinese to the very core. we wait for hours, even days to get the train tickets, and fight thru the crowds to get on the trains. for what?? celebrating the spring festivel with our loved ones. personally, the celebration of both chinese and western holidays makes our lives more colorful and exciting~~~

an okay showing but not the best - a bit predictable. Running out of interesting ideas of ways to show the cultural gap maybe?

Ss for hanukkah, I'm sorry but if you asked the many British the same question you would draw the same blank. How you expect Chinese on Wangfujing (the home of the visiting waidi ren) to know, I've no idea.

If only Jewish people had more influence in the Western media, then Chinese people might be able to be exposed to more Jewish thought and culture.

i thought this was an interesting one even if it's not the best danwei tv show it's still an interesting slice of weird beijing

I was laughing out loud when i saw this! Sexy beijing is the best on Danwei TV! Keep up the good work!

/Michal, sweden

naughty Santa!

I think Michal is right - Sexy Beijing is being aimed at foreigners living outside of China, for whom such amusing cultural differences such as attitudes to Christmas, using English names, etc., are still of some interest. At present the show could easily be called "Oooh, Aren't Those Chinese Funny People?" (Copyright mine)

This is also why many in China find it so purile and even annoying. Surely the time has come for a change in focus - to go a bit deeper while keeping the light tone. You have the language and knowledge to do this. So much of Chinese culture is simplified and diluted for a foreign audience - it would be great if Danwei could buck the trend here and produce something truly meaningful.

Oh come on guys, that was fun. I especially liked the search for Hanukkah part.

I wasn't surprised by the results at all, but you have to keep in mind the comparison was being made between a religious holiday and a commercial holiday. To be fair to the people of Beijing, it would be better if you had a picture of a menorah, and a picture of a birth scene and see if anyone could identify either of them appropriately. I image blank stares would be what you'd get for both.

The tree and santa really don't have anything to do with the religious holiday after all.

Guys, for Santaclaussake...take five and relax. RELAX! This show was a good one. The spirit of this show is to be lighthearted and informative at the same time, and once again Sufei has delivered. Big time.
Sufei, keep up the good work and ignore the silly comments above: those boring folks forgot that they are watching 'Sexy Beijing' and not some documentary on National Geographic Channel.
Ciao bella!

Fair enough Mauro.

But Sufei really has got to cut out the dia hua. Please, for the sake of women over the age of 10 across the world, stamp out the dia hua!!!!!

Guys, I think some of you need to lighten up. This is - obviously - a bit of fun.

Now as to the content itself, it isn't surprising Christmas has become adopted like this. Even in Europe and North America, people will celebrate it for the presents/family aspect and never think about "Christ's mass".

In China maybe because the exchanging of expensive toys, perfume, etc was associated with foreign wealth, the festival has caught on so much in Eastern China where the new wealth is and people want to emulate foreign lifestyles. Somehow I doubt they celebrate Christmas with the same enthusiasm in the poor provinces.

I don't get it mauro, fun for who? is pointing out that many chinese don't recognise a Jewish holiday or that some Chinese celebrate Christmas in odd ways really fun any more? Or is tiresome, done to death, trite rubbish? It was fun first time around, but is now getting pretty dull.

If this is what floats your boat, then great - keep getting your kicks and have a great Christmas. But please refrain from presuming that anyone who has a contrary opinion is in fact boring and/or can't distinguish between National Geographic and Danwei. Some of us (me) are just bored rather than boring.(Plus, am I right to presume you are/were part of the old beijing scene backslapping clique? Would explain your aimless sycophancy.)

Mike, if you 'don't get it', well bad for you, my bored/boring fella. In the meantime, try to put aside your bitterness, relax, have a glass of glogg and Merry Xmas to you too.

Why, is it 'more important whether they know about Hanukkah'? I'm an aetheist, but I find this baffling. What does Santa Claus and the Christmas imagery wrapped around Beijing (where I live) have to do with whether or not Chinese people know what Hanukkah is?

That aside, this video is a load of patronising, cultural-colonialist-claptrap. Have we warped back in time to 1950? Did everyone turn off their brain? C'mon, she has access to an amazing public platform - she should use it to SAY and DO something interesting!

If it had even been funny that would have been a start, but it wasn't, it was terrible. For anyone who did laugh at it - help me out here - where are the funny parts? From that standpoint it is just pathetic.

As for OMG and the comment, 'If only Jewish people had more influence in the Western media, then Chinese people might be able to be exposed to more Jewish thought and culture.' Dude, either you're being deeply ironic, or you need to read some 20th Century history. And no, I am NOT an anti-Semite!!

mauro: I'm not bitter, just critical. And crap is crap, whether it is christmas or not. You may find your buddy's home videos great fun; I don't. Doesn't make me even remotely bitter. Nice try at a come back though. I bet you like to tell people you have a great sense of humour....

Ghost: "Dude, either you're being deeply ironic"

Gee ya think?

I think most people are missing the point. I don't think that anyone expects China to recognize a Jewish holiday or any other holiday. The only reason Xmas has been so widely accepted is for two reasons. One: capitalism Two:American media. Both evil and should be contained. It is really sad that American culture- that is so shallow and vacent should the culture that most of the modern world knows and takes cues from. It is a very sad culture with no real ties to humanity or society or family. It merely relies on a fantasy and illusions of a perfect world that exists only on TV and movie sets. It is not a real culture that was created from people and tradition and ways of living. Also sad that a holiday is about nothing but money and sales. I would hope that China would fight this western influence but it seems that Chinese are embracing it.

I think this was an interesting peice and has value in viewing disease of American media and culture.

we once discussed in class,the reason mainly focus on the trend ppl wanna follow.and when the americans start to celebrate Xmas at the very beginning,the chinese ppl no nothing about it.but as more and more ppl start to pay attention to this holiday,and celebrate it,the majority ppl choose to follow them and dont wanna lag behind.but what they know is just to have fun or hang out with somebody instead of knowing the true meaning of Xmas.i heard that lots of ppl go the church on the Xmas eve and stand outside holding candles,but did they really know the meaning when they do this,maybe not.

Companies use this as a good opportunity to dig out more money from teenagers' pockets,cuz they no clearly that thos ppl want to spend money and be willing to buy expensive things on that certain occasion.

do u know that nowadays more ppl start to celebrate Thanksgiving.dont know why,maybe chinese turkey companies import more turkey than expected and they are eager to sell out,so,they use some the smart ways to spur ppl's interest on this in order to make more profits.some stores post some ads that they wanna employe some native americans to do some performances...god,i wonder what else can they think about,planting corns?lol

hope more ppl can divert their attention to spring festival,cuz i notice that in these yrs,fewer ppl like to be with family members and talk or share something with them.what a pity.what is the tradition.

i always say,we can insorb what comes from the outside,but we cant lose what we always had.like myself,i like the punk music or some strong beat music,but i studied how to play shadowboxing be4.see,that's what i mean.

anyway,the Xmas is drawing near,give my best to all.

have fun:)

Wow, the interviewer looked like the female version of Australia's John Safran...except not as entertaining or incisive in the interviewing.

China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
laomo2010x80.jpg
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives