The Header shows three village elders of  东北阳 Dōng Běi Yáng with me as well as my best Chinese friend with her niece and nephew.

About this blog

This blog is about life in today’s China with stories about my personal experiences when studying, working and traveling in the People’s Republic as well as comments and links to articles about Chinese culture and society.  I try to give background information on historical developments whenever possible.

My blog includes a category that provides  information about events taking place in Switzerland.

Here I am with a group of English students at the Sunny Hotel in Beijing.


About me

My name is Katri Naef-Tahvanainen. I was born and raised in northern Finland. I spent a year as an exchange student in an American high school, which was a life changing experience that set the direction for my future. Intercultural communication is my field of work. My job is teaching languages, translating, interpreting and giving talks on Chinese culture and society.

in the 1980’s I moved to Switzerland to live with the love of my life. We have two sons and two lovely grandkids.

My first encounter with Chinese culture was in my teens when I read a book written by Lin Yutang. I found it fascinating, because the setting and the ideas were so different from anything I had known so far. I made my first trip to China in the year 2000 and have been going there regularly ever since.

Sunny Hotel Beijing English class

Sunny Hotel Beijing English class

My education: Master of Arts in Linguistics and a couple of foreign languages at the University of Turku in Finland and Master of Arts in Social Anthropology and Science of Religion at the University of Bern in Switzerland including courses in Sinology at the University of Zürich.

I give talks on the following topics: “The Art of Peking Opera”, “A world view in a name”, “Indigenous Chinese Religions” and “The one-child policy and its social consequnces” in German and  English.

If you’d like to contact me, please write to katri.naef[at]gmx.ch.

3 thoughts on “About

  1. Ms Katri Naef is a friendly lady who is interested in the communication on Swiss and chinese culture. She gave a talk to a group of students in my department on the historical development of Switzerland. Her power-point presentation was very interseting and clearly structured including pictures of a country unknown to most of the listerners. The students showed great interest in what they heard and made many questions during and after the presentation. She shows the real Swiss life and culture to Chinese students and tells about the everyday life in Beijing in Switzerland, We warmly welcome Ms Naef back in Beijing. Zhao Xiao Yan, University of Science and Technology, Beijing

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