About: Valerie Benguiat

Valerie Benguiat is a published writer, blogger, journalist and copywriter. She teaches creative writing in The Novella Workshop. She is also an animal welfare activist and a sustainable development expert.

Posts by Valerie:

Dog meat in China

A practice that many foreigners frown upon is the Chinese consumption of dog meat (狗, gǒu ròu). When presented with a menu, bear in mind that dog meat can also be written as 香肉 (xiāng ròu) or 地羊 (dì yáng). While for most Western countries, eating dog meat has been seen for a long time …
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Manufacturing Hub China

China has been known for a long time as a manufacturing paradise, where the readily available manpower makes it more affordable to get products made, packaged and shipped to every other country in the world. In recent years, however, these plants have moved to southern Asian countries like Indonesia and Singapore. It’s still very profitable …
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Chinese Taxi App

The quality of public transport in China varies dramatically depending on the city, like in all countries, but in Shanghai one must admit that public transport is very good. It’s crowded all right, and during rush hour you’re guaranteed to suffer from shoving, pushing and elbowing as if the coach in front of you was …
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Demonstrators protest

It feels like we’re living Dalian’s and Xiamen’s protests all over again, as neighbors from Maoming, in Guangdong province, take to the streets to halt the construction of a petrochemical factory. The Sinopec Corp (中国石化 ZhōngGuó ShíHuà) factory would be expected to manufacture paraxylene, and while the health and environmental side effects of the compound …
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Homosexuality in China

Being different in a country who proudly sticks to their motto of Harmonious Society (和谐社会 HéXié ShèHuì) – a slogan first promoted by Confucius himself, and more recently by the top leaders of China – is quite a challenging feat. Being gay in China means you will most certainly stick out like a sore thumb. …
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Bar Rouge Shanghai

If you’re moving to Shanghai, you’ll soon realize that you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to partying. There are high-end clubs, shabby joints, underground bunkers – quite literally underground -, Chinese karaoke parties, and Western skyscraper bars galore. Cover prices range form 100RMB to 300 RMB per person, which normally includes a couple …
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Chinese red envelope

One of the Chinese traditions that as a foreigner you’ll have to grasp quickly is the concept of the Chinese red envelope. It’s part of the complex gift giving traditions of China, and whether you’re in China for business or pleasure, you’ll encounter situations in which you’re expected to give a hongbao. 红包 HóngBāo (literally …
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pollution in China

When it comes to pollution, China has been popping up the front-pages for quite some time. Partly this is due to China’s size: the sheer population of this vast country means that it tends to head most, if not all league tables when it comes to pollution. But it’s not completely unjustified either. I mean, …
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