As I commute to work every day and usually have about 2-3 hours/day to read books. I decided to take a few university courses again. Since most of the books I want to read is about China I found it quite suitable to take courses about China. Therefore I found it very suitable that the Department of Philology and Linguistics here in Uppsala offers courses in Chin’s history and culture at Monday evenings and about Chinese literature history on Thursday afternoon. It makes me perhaps a bit more busy than usual, but I think its very interesting. Since I applied already in April, I could read much of the course literature during the summer and just repeat it during the course.
The first lecture was very interesting, the lecturer, professor Joakim Enwall has a vast knowledge about China and language (but this is not a language course, however). He has worked a lot about the minorities in China, he has worked at the Swedish Embassy in Beijing before he became Professor in Uppsala.
On Monday we will be given a lecture by Cecilia Lindqvist, quite well-known both in Sweden and China for her books about the Chinese characters and the Guqin (古琴) a Chinese instrument with ancient roots. Her books is very good, especially if you are already acquainted with the Chinese characters and some of the Chinese history. But I guess it can be very good as an introduction for beginners as well, to understand some background and sense of Chinese. I have learnt a lot and look forward to her lecture, perhaps it will be opportunity to ask some questions.
I noticed in her book that she often refers to traditional characters and seems a bit disappointed in the simplification in some cases. I’m not sure if that could be considered sensitive by some party people, but she has been guest professor at Beijing Language and Cultural University, so I guess she can say these things without people get to upset. I found on youtube that the anti-commies (here NDTV) uses her opinions as an argument, referring to a interview with a Taiwanese newspaper
Anyway, about the Guqin, I’m not sure if I have heard it live, I guess that Guzheng is more common, and I think it was Guzheng that I heard and saw a man played in the restaurant of the Palace Museum in Taipei when I was there in March this year.