November 9, 2009

Dongbei 东北

Quiz: What one of our favorite phrases in Chinese? We even use it all the time in English conversations too. Remember? ... Dongxi 东西 meaning "stuff" but literally translates "east west."

Using that knowledge we can learn dongbei 东北.

Dong 东 means east.
Bei 北 means north.

Together, dongbei means northeast. This term is used to describe the area of China where we leave. The dongbei includes three provinces of Heilongjing (that's where we live in Harbin), Jilin (to the south of Heilongjiang), and Liaoning (the southern most of the three provinces).

The dongbei was formerly known as Manchuria and is now very old and rusty. It was the industrial capital of China for many years, but that was years ago. Now the dongbei is trying to find it's role again and the Chinese government is pumping money into its economy.

One of the toughest problems facing the dongbei today is its growing elderly population. This problem is common throughout China, but is especially tough in the doungbei as many of the youth leave in search of jobs and don't return.

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