A while ago, I found a series of DVDs called "Atlas." Produced by the Discovery Channel, they are glimpses into not only different countries, but individuals who live in them. I have yet to see most of the series, but I loved Australia - the opal mining, the sheep shearing, the aboriginal culture, the 1,761 miles of the Stuart Highway.
I also watched China. I was horrified and fascinated by a culture that is so absolutely foreign to me. I just cannot understand that an entire people seems to think so much government control is right and good. I also found myself weeping for a little girl a world away. Her parents gave her up so that she could become a gymnast.
"The only life she's ever known..."
(it's a longish video, but worth it. Considering China's gold-medal winning babies, I thought it timely.)