Victor Mair

Many Words and One Very Special Bowl for Tea

by Victor H. Mair

Through study of the words for Camellia sinensis in various languages, it is possible to trace the history of tea as it spread across the globe from its homeland in Asia. A brief inscription on a bowl from the Belitung Shipwreck found off the coast of Indonesia was elucidated for its importance in the cultural history of tea.

Speaker’s profile
Victor H. Mair, Professor of Chinese Language and Literature
Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA.

Together with Erling Hoh, a Swedish journalist, Professor Victor has spent the last three years researching and writing a book on the true history of tea. Although this is a subject that he has been interested in for the last 25 years and more, he has been collecting materials on it all along. His interest in tea bowls is part of his larger interest in the history of tea. You may be interested in the book he has written with journalist Erling Hoh to tell the story of this remarkable beverage and its uses, from ancient times to the present, from East to West: The True History of Tea.

7pm, Thursday 19 February 2009

The Lecture Room, The Peranakan Museum,

39 Armenian Street, Singapore