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Archive for April, 2011

The Royal Wedding is just days away and everywhere you look there is news coverage about every tiny detail! It is anticipated to be one of the most publicized and watched events ever and Chinese culture is going to be part of the big day! Zhu Xiaoju, a Chinese woman who studied in the UK, offered to create a custom tea set to be used at the wedding and the royal family accepted. After 10 days of design meetings, Zhu picked a hexagonal design teapot in a blue and white rice pattern porcelain. The names William and Kate are etched on the design that is decorated with plum blossoms, orchid, chrysanthemum, and bamboo.

Royal Wedding Chinese Tea Set

Royal Wedding Chinese Tea Set

The set was produced in Jingdezhen, China’s capital of porcelain. Zhu says she wishes William and Kate to be attached to each other and live a happy life. She also says “”With this tea set, I want to congratulate the royal couple and also hope it can be the medium for a cultural exchange between the West and East.”

You can learn about Chinese Wedding Tea Ceremonies at ChinaBridal.com. If you would like your own Chinese tea set to follow along with while you watch, visit AJ Panda and check out our wide selection.

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I wanted to take a minute today and highlight one of the great books we have here at AJ Panda. The adoption process is long and complicated and nothing can help calm your nerves more than advice and stories from others who have already gone through the process.  While AJ Panda offers a large selection of books on Chinese adoption, culture and language, there is one that everyone seems to always love. A Passage to the Heart: Writings from Families with Children from China comes highly recommended for waiting families. It is a collection of 100 articles and stories regarding all aspects of adopting from China. It includes personal accounts from adoptive parents about both the joys of adoption and the challenges of parenthood.

One customer review on our site described it as “a compilation of stories related to the adoption process and experience; some of the stories are difficult and gut-wrenching and some are joyful and heart-warming. This balance in perspective helped prepare us for the many emotions and experiences that we encountered during our adoption process.”

No matter what step you are at in the adoption process or if you are just starting to explore adoption, AJ Panda has great resources for you. Or if you have already adopted, we have many great children’s books to help your little one learn about and celebrate their culture.

A Passage to the Heart

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AJ Panda has teamed up with The Alliance for Children Foundation (the Foundation) to give away one of our Mini La Baby Asian Dolls! This is one of our most popular dolls, made by Berenguer. The doll is wearing an adorable outfit with a matching animal-themed blanket. She is scented with baby powder and has a soft body with vinyl hands and head. Each doll measures 11″ tall.

To enter, go to http://www.afcfoundation.org/ and click on the picture of our doll. All you have to provide is your name and email address and wait for them to notify you when you win! A donation is not required to enter the contest, but all donations are greatly appreciated and help provide basic needs to orphan children world wide.

Good luck!

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Chinese Symbols

Happy Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is fast approaching! It will be celebrated on May 8 this year and it’s never too early to start thinking about how to honor all the terrific mothers in your life.

Mother’s Day is widely celebrated in the United States, and it is gaining popularity in China. The theme of the holiday falls right in line with one of China’s main traditional ethics – respect the elderly.

Moms make everything more wonderful so now is the time to go all out and find something terrific for your mother to show her how much she means to you. Our Mother’s Day Gift Guide can help! In addition to our collection of Chinese symbol jewelry, we have lots of gift ideas moms will love like our Chinese silk cosmetic bags or change purses. Authentic Chinese porcelain tea sets or teacups are always a hit, as are our porcelain chopsticks set. Moms who love to cook could whip up every delicious recipe in our Chinese cookbooks. Find something for the mother or grandmother on your list at AJ Panda.

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Dream Chinese Character Necklace
Dream Chinese Character Necklace

Chinese jewelry is very popular and frequently searched for online. And while a lot of those searching do have ties to China – be it heritage, adoptive children, or just an interest in the culture – many just like the look of Chinese characters. I have to admit, they are pretty cool. I guess that’s why so many people opt to get Chinese character tatoos. As the buyer for AJ Panda, I’ve searched high and low looking for pieces I think our customers will like. Most of our Chinese character jewelry is sourced from an American designer, Zia Jewelry, but I have found some interesting jade pieces from wholesalers in China, as well. The good thing about Chinese jewelry is that it can be a fashionable accessory while projecting a positive message like “love”, “hope”, “dream”, or “friend.” These positive messages are what makes them such great gifts. Not to mention the characters that say things like “mom”, “dad”, “jie jie big sister“, or “mei mei little sister.” So the next time  you’re looking for a unique gift, think of Chinese character jewelry. I’m sure the recipient will be grateful.

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