RAS Weekender

Tavern at the Radisson Xingguo Hotel

Betty Barr & George Wang on their two most recent books


SATURDAY 18th October 2014
4pm for 4.15pm
Venue TBA

BETTY BARR & GEORGE WANGon their two latest books

George and Betty will talk about their many unexpected discoveries in Guizhou, one of the poorest provinces in China.  Some of these discoveries were historical, including the Stilwell Road featured on the cover. Chinese historians had been looking for the site of the photograph and found this famous World War II road not so very long ago. Earlier history was found in the Shimen School for National Minorities founded by an English missionary in 1905. Much more ancient history exists in Chishui, on the border with Sichuan. There, Jurassic tree ferns, the food of the dinosaurs, can be found in abundance.
Near Chishui are several well-maintained Nature Reserves full of waterfalls, bamboo forests and red rocks, part of the Danxia Landform, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
In Southeastern Guizhou they visited about fifty villages where they discovered that the local customs of the many ethnic minorities are alive and well. The self-declared “Largest Miao Village in the World” is Xijiang while many smaller villages have their own intrinsic interest.
An economic discovery was that eight of the world’s top twenty highest bridges are to be found in Guizhou. Everywhere they went, there was construction of expressways, high speed railways – and cities.
The second book is a report on two trips made in 2009 and 2013 to several sites in Sichuan.  In that area, they discovered yet another ethnic minority, the Qiang, who live high up in the mountains in stone-built villages.
George Wang was born in Shanghai in 1927 and has lived here all his life.  He started out working as a messenger boy at the age of 14 and retired as an Associate Professor of English at a Community College in Xuhui District.
Betty Barr was born in Shanghai in 1933 and has lived here for 49 of her 81 years.  She was a teacher of English in Glasgow, Fife and Hong Kong as well as in Shanghai.  For ten years she worked on British Council Teacher Training projects at Shanghai International Studies University.  After her retirement she studied for an MLitt and PhD at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, her dissertation topic being how Westerners make sense of Chinese culture.
Since their retirement George and Betty have published Shanghai Boy Shanghai Girl and three other books.
RSVP: to RAS Bookings at: bookings@royalasiaticsociety.org.cn
ENTRANCE:  Members 70 RMB – Non Members 100 RMB
Includes a glass of wine or soft drink
Priority for RAS members. Those unable to make the donation but wishing to attend may contact us for exemption.   
MEMBERSHIP applications and membership renewals will be available at this event.
RAS MONOGRAPHS – Series 1 & 2 will be available for sale at this event. 100 rmb each (cash sale only)
WEBSITE:  www.royalasiaticsociety.org.cn
RSVP: bookings@royalasiaticsociety.org.cn