There are infinite ways to learn something new while we stay at home to keep our communities safe. Dive into the vibrant culture of the Asia Pacific region with this curated list of our favorite books, films, and music from each country!
Need some new music? Try listening to Calm by 5 Seconds of Summer. The fourth album released by this young Australian band is full of great songs that will keep you vibing throughout the day.
Take your pick from the 1987 book Whale Rider or the 2002 movie by the same name. Written by Witi Ihimaera, this story touches on the Maori culture in New Zealand and defying gender norms.
Award-winning artist Fiji (born George Veikoso) was raised in Fiji for 17 years before leaving due to the ‘87 coup d’état. His music, which will transport you straight to Fiji, combines classic reggae and slow R&B with elements of jazz.
Winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature, Mo Yan is the author of Life and Death are Wearing Me Out, a must-read novel that follows the seven lives of Ximen Nao as he lives through 50 years of culturally significant events in China, including the Great Chinese Famine and Cultural Revolution.
Hayao Miyazaki films are Japanese classics, and with the arrival of Studio Ghibli’s movie catalog to HBO Max, you can watch them all! We recommend My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and Howl’s Moving Castle.
Street Food Asia is a mouthwatering must-watch on Netflix—our favorite is Episode 3, based in Delhi, India. See Dalchand Kashyap, a notable Indian chef, cook up a chaat recipe that will make you wish you were in India.
Son Tung M-TP, winner of the 2015 MTV Best Southeast Asian act, incorporates upbeat pop, hip hop, and even some ballads. Check out his hit song, Hay Trao Cho Anh, which features none other than Snoop Dog.
If you enjoyed learning about Singapore by reading Crazy Rich Asians, you’ll love diving into Akshita Nanda’s novel, Nimita’s Place. Follow the lives of two Nimitas, one in 1940s India and the other in 2014 Singapore, as you discover life in Singapore from the perspective of a molecular biologist in search of her identity.
Inspired by her desire to discover real Thai food, as opposed to the Thai food curated for tourists, chef Bo Songvisava learned from the experts before opening a traditional Thai restaurant, Bo.Lan, in Bangkok. Check out Season 5, Episode 3 of Chef’s Table on Netflix to hear about her journey.
If you haven’t watched a Bong Joon-ho movie yet, now is the time to do it! This iconic South Korean director has a penchant for social commentary through rapid, darkening tone shifts. Watch Oscar winner Parasite on Hulu, but don’t forget Snowpiercer and Okja on Netflix.
Virtual Tours to Fulfill Your Wanderlust
Missing travel? Explore virtually! Here are some cultural highlights you can discover from the safety of your desk.
- Sit back and enjoy the views and sounds of the Sydney Opera House on this 360-degree virtual tour.
- Observe the beautiful sights of Bangkok on this virtual guided tour.
- Learn about Korean art and culture by exploring virtual exhibits at the National Museum of Korea.
- Take the wondrous sights from the Great Wall of China on this 360-degree virtual tour—no hiking necessary!
Looking to learn more about studying abroad with TEAN? Click here to request information on any of our Asia Pacific programs.