By Gu Jiefen, Shanghai, China
Former Coordinator for International Relations at Nagasaki Prefecture International Affairs Association
Lived in Nagasaki, June 2011 – April 2012
Hello everyone! Long time, no see! This is Gu Jiefen, writing from Shanghai. I worked as a Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) at Nagasaki Prefecture International Affairs Department until April this year. I’m back home now, and back in my old job. Recently, I went to Beijing for a symposium to mark the 20th anniversary of the JET Programme’s link with China.
The Temple of Heaven in Beijing
Meeting other former CIRs in Beijing and talking about our work and lifestyle in Japan brought back memories of my life in Nagasaki. I feel so nostalgic just thinking about Nagasaki’s pretty neighbourhoods, fresh air and kind people. Since I came back to Shanghai, five months have passed by in a flash. When I first returned, I suffered from reverse culture-shock and it was a real struggle to get used to life in Shanghai again. The strange thing was, however, that despite being away for nearly a year, I wasn’t at all surprised at all the changes that had occurred in my absence. And for that, I have to thank ‘Weibo’…
The homepage of Xinlang Weibo
‘Weibo’ means ‘microblog’ in Chinese. ‘Wei’ means ‘micro’ and ‘bo’ is the first character of ‘boke’, the Chinese word for ‘blog’. A weibo is a miniblog site somewhat like Twitter. While there are a number of microblogging sites in China, including ‘Tencent Weibo’, the term ‘weibo’ is usually used to refer to one particular service: Xinlang Weibo. Since its launch on August 14th, 2009, Xinlang Weibo has become one of China’s most popular websites, gathering over 300 million users by 2012. Each day on average around 100 million postings are made on Xinlang Weibo.
Xinlang Weibo: over 300 million users
I guess you are wondering what weibo users can do and what kind of postings they make. There are all kinds of ways to enjoy microblogging. Using weibo, you can tell your family and friends about your daily life. Shops and companies can use weibo to publicise their products and activities. I, too, use weibo regularly. If I find something interesting or delicious, I take a picture and upload it to my microblog.
Starbucks’ official weibo page My friend’s weibo
Even famous people make weibo pages to interact with their fans!
The weibo page of famous actor Jackie Chan
Recently, a succession of Japanese local authorities has started using weibo to promote tourism and Japanese traditional culture to Chinese microbloggers.
The weibo page of the Embassy of Japan in China
Nagasaki Prefecture’s weibo page.
If you are interested, why not try using weibo yourself? I am following Nagasaki Prefecture’s page on Xinlang Weibo, so see if you can find my page among the followers ^_^