This week marks the 2016 Songkran, Thailand’s official new year. Songkran, a Sanskrit word meaning transformation or change, holds similar meaning to other New Year celebrations around the world. This is a time for rebirth and resolution, filled with excitement for what’s to come in the year ahead.
One of the defining features of any city is its residential architecture. China is no different. While some call them rabbit warrens, and others cringe at the idea of living so close to one’s neighbor, China’s residential complexes are mixed-use developments at their most basic: shops in the front; houses in the back; shrines and temples shoved in between.
The seventh month of the lunar calendar marks the annual Buddhist Ghost Month. This is a time where the spirits of the dead roam the Earth and commune with their living loved ones. Unfortunately, it's also a time where the living create enough pollution to lower their own life expectancies. This begs the question: how much should we modernize tradition?