One Belt, One Road: Fun for All the Family
If you didn’t know about China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative before, then you certainly do after last month’s summit, when dignitaries from all over the world descended on Beijing, causing traffic gridlock, subway closures, and a security clampdown on favorite expat nightspots. But if you want to share the joys of globalization with your kids, then China Daily has kindly created a series of videos to help, featuring US journalist Erik Nilsson talking about the initiative with his daughter at bedtime. Alternatively, you can sing along with the government’s official Belt and Road song, “The Belt and Road is How,” in which children from different countries dance and sing: The belt connects the land/ The road moves on the sea/ The promise that they hold/ Is joint prosperity. Because as every parent knows, there’s nothing that fascinates kids more than international infrastructure investment programs.
The Heat Is On
May saw the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Beijing for the time of year, with a “yellow heat warning” being issued. The peak temperature reached 38 degrees Celsius, not far short of Beijing’s all-time high of 41 degrees in 1989. This followed an all-time high for April too, so June is likely to be a scorcher. There’s no need to let the heat trap you inside, just follow a few simple precautions to stay safe and protect your kids’ delicate skin: use high factor sunscreen, wear a hat and loose clothing which covers you up, and drink plenty of liquids throughout the day. And if you go swimming, don’t forget to reapply sunscreen after, even if it’s water-resistant.
Bestselling Authors Visit Beijing
You’ve probably never heard of Roderick Hunt or Alex Brychta, but they created one of the most successful series of children’s books ever. The Oxford Reading Tree has helped children in over 140 countries learn to read, with its funny, exciting stories about Biff, Chip, Kipper, and Floppy the dog. The authors visited Beijing last month and spoke to an invited audience at the British School of Beijing, Sanlitun (BSB, Sanlitun). But Hunt didn’t mind not being as famous as JK Rowling. “I’d rather be as anonymous as I am,” he told us, “and I’m glad I am not much in any spotlight, other than the one which shines a light on my passion to enable children to become literate, to love books, and to be effective, critical life-long learners.” Read the rest of our exclusive interview here.
Hunting the “Blue Whale”
Warnings have been circulating on social media about a game called “Blue Whale.” Disturbing stories claim that children and teens are dared to take on a series of increasingly dangerous challenges, such as carving a whale into their skin and watching horror movies, before being told to kill themselves on the final day of the challenge. Last month, China Daily reported that a 17 year old had been arrested in Sichuan for spreading the game. If all this sounds like something from dystopian drama Black Mirror, then there’s a reason why: the stories almost certainly originated as a hoax. “It’s truly fake,” according to netfamilynews.com, “a textbook example of how misinformation about online harm can itself be harmful.” There’s no credible evidence linking the game to real suicides, and the risk is that spreading warnings can encourage attention seekers to try it out, as appears to be the case with the young man in Sichuan. As always, we encourage you to take an active interest in what your children do online, to keep an open dialogue, and not to allow unsupervised access until you’re confident your youngsters are sufficiently mature to handle the many dangers of the internet.
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