The NY Times has an article about Chinese women with bound feet today. This painful practice is luckily outdated, but it turns out that there are still women walking around (!) in China today on bound feet that are as small as three or four inches long. There are number of websites with appropriately icky images, but Joseph Rupp has put together a number of oral histories and portraits that look at how this practice has affected these women's lives.
My interest in Chinese culture and Taiwanese history has peaked over the past year. On a trip to Malaysia in August 2005, instead of feeling like an American girl and a stranger in yet another country, I felt surprisingly at home. The way people interacted with each other made more sense to me than what I experience in Holland and I did not feel like a social oaf all the time. The trip got me thinking that maybe there is something to being half Taiwanese aside from the funny looks (mine) and good food. Now I'm reading my first book about Taiwanese history in snatches on the train and even thinking about trying the language again. It's an awkward and exciting time of discovery and curiosity.