Tai ChiI have not quite yet chosen one topic to research.  That’s not to say I haven’t been thinking of it; rather I can’t decide which idea to go forth with.  However, I am getting more and more interested in one of my ideas.  This would be to research and analyze the martial arts culture of Beijing.  Specifically, I have been investigating the community Tai Chi exercises that are held in various locations around the city.  If in America there is anything comparable, it would be the various exercise classes you can find held by most gyms.  However, Tai Chi has a much longer and storied history then my mother’s spinning class.  I wish to understand the culture of this form of Tai Chi; who participates, and why?  When did such public practices start, and what are the attitudes towards them?  Are there any values associated with exercise, and when did such practices start?  I hope to answer these questions, but I may not, and may create others instead.  But I suppose that’s why I am conducting this research.  I myself have done a few martial arts, though I’ve never really committed myself to any of them.  But the subject has continued to fascinate me, especially the East Asian mindset towards martial arts.  Chinese beef dish

Another idea of mine was to research the food culture of Beijing.  I haven’t though this one through as much, but researching restaurants, street food, or favorite locales may introduce me to some aspects of China I had no concept of before.  How often do people eat out?  Where do they like to go?  How do the restaurants operate in such a city?  There is much I could learn from this as well.  My love for Chinese food is obviously an influencing factor for this topic, but culinary traditions can be very representative of a culture.  The variations in food can be indicative of a region, climate, or even economic prosperity.  And the etiquette of the table is a result of traditions and even moral values.  A restaurant, which involves foods, etiquette, and social norms should be able to tell a lot about a culture.

I have a few more ideas for research, but neither are as fleshed out as these two.  My decision may change as I continue to do more research, so I cannot say for certain which idea I’ll eventually pick.  No matter what I choose, however, I am still excited to be able to do research and learn of Chinese culture and traditions, irrelevant of the topic.