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Wednesday
Dec012010

Insights into China 'Take a Cultural Journey'

 

Insights into China's

Society & Culture

 

ARCHIVE

 

The Culture of Face

Part One

Part Two

 

 

 

 

The Post 80's Generation in China (Multimedia Presentation)

 

Don't call me Laowai (foreigner): Elyse's American dream in China

It's been 8 years Elyse Ribbons lives in Beijing. Elyse came to China unexpectedly and fell in love with Beijing, so decided to come here after her graduation. "There is a really good Chinese word yuan fen, that explains how I ended up in China.

 

 

Love Relay Concert - VIDEO

2010 Music Radio's "Kappa 1200: Love Relay Concert" was held in Beijing Yuetan Stadium Monday night. The event was organized by the Music Radio of Central People's Radio and the China Children and Teenagers Foundation, and cosponsored by Kappa. All profits from the event will be donated to the China Children and Teenagers' Foundation and will be used to support three years' worth of living expenses for impoverished children.

Last night, Fish Leong, Yoga Lin, Hebe, Zhang Jie, Bibi, Shang Wenjie, Yu Quan, Li Xiaoyun, Su Xing, Li Yifeng, Olivia, and Jiang Yuheng performed for the audience.

The 2010 Music Radio "Kappa 1200: Activity to Assist the Impoverished Students" has been going on for four months. Participants have experienced two in-depth face to face visits, three "smile collections," two golf tournaments, six road shows of love in different cities, and today they have finally come to the 2010 Love Relay Concert. The whole process has attracted the strong support of all walks of life. Everyone passed on his own love, and infected other peoples.

 

SLIDESHOW: Exhibition of "Charm of Ancient Chinese Music" opens in Beijing (1/51)

 

Post-80s in China-E06 - VIDEO

E06:"I'm ma ma"

Post-80s is a special word in China, which refers to people born in the 1980s.

 

 

Old Problems Resurface With China’s Rising Food Prices

The British writer Bruce Chatwin, in his 1989 book “What Am I Doing Here,” ascribed the power of Chinese emperors to nothing more than the authority over agriculture.

“Imperial decrees,” Chatwin wrote, “used to begin ‘The World is based on Agriculture.’”

It’s been more than 20 years since Chatwin wrote and a millennium since the era he evoked.But in China, even the most massive changes in income levels can’t mask the same fault lines that pervade the task of governing this old, big country.

 

 

Little room for bikes in traffic plan, critics say

BEIJING - The municipal government's call for people to swap steering wheels for handlebars has appeared halfhearted to many.

The Beijing government issued a package of detailed rules on Thursday to address its traffic gridlock, including measures to improve infrastructure for cyclists, pedestrians and public transport.

 

 

The Ultimate "Last Nail" of Beijing

Clenched in resistance to the demolition of their homes, Zhang Changfu and his younger brother have held on to a group of drooping houses in the center of Beijing. Surrounded by high-rise buildings in Chaoyang District, the homes are known in China as a "last nail" household. In 2003, Zhang refused a demolition compensation agreement with UHN International Village, an apartment developer. The developer offered 450,000 yuan to each of Zhang's brothers for their home. Over the past seven years, Zhang's actions have attracted much media attention. Some netizens have nicknamed him as the ultimate "last nail" of Beijing. Zhang said he and his family are willing to move away, but only if they reach fair compensation from the real estate developer, which he has said would be around 6 million yuan for the 150 square meter plot.

Zhang's house is located in the Taiyang Gong area in Chaoyang District, between the North 2nd Ring Road and North 3rd Ring Road. Housing prices in that area have skyrocketed in recent years.

 

 

Traditional medicine prices are elixir for sellers

Trader hoarding, supply shortages drive up prices, increasing profits

BOZHOU, Anhui - The year 2010 has seen enormous fluctuations in the price of traditional Chinese herbal medicines, price changes that have put pressure on people who need them for their health, but have benefited traders in the time-honored remedies.

An exhibitor promotes her wares at a traditional Chinese medicine fair in Bozhou, Anhui province.

 

 

Winter Solstice (Dongzhi) a time for dumplings

 

 

Boom Times for Opera in China

BEIJING — On the frosty first Saturday of December, crowds packed the opera house of the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing to see “Xi Shi,” an original NCPA production (composed by Lei Lei with libretto by Zou Jingzhi) that tells the tragic tale of the eponymous beauty from ancient China.

 

 

Tea culture comes to live at Wuyutai - VIDEO

Wuyutai is a name known to almost every tea lover in Beijing. First established in 1887, Wuyutai enjoys fame as one of the Time-Honored Brands of China, and is well-known for its high-quality tea products and hospitable service.

The history of the teahouse is encapsulated in its name. Wu Xiqing, its founder, came from Anhui province to open a tea store in Beijing during the late Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Wu named the shop Yutai, which was later updated to include his family name.

Wuyutai is most famous for its secret jasmine tea recipe - a sought-after mixture of green tea and jasmine that rings the right note for tea lovers. And it is in the process of applying to make jasmine tea part of Beijing's intangible cultural heritage.

After over a century's development, Wuyutai Tea House, which was renamed Beijing Wuyutai Tea Co in 2005, has more than 190 chain stores, two tea houses and two stylish tea cuisine restaurants.

For over 120 years, Wuyutai has been holding up its traditional tea producing methods and has won high reputation and credibility among generations of tea lovers.

People in Beijing like to go to tea houses. In olden days, they used to be the center of social activity. Nowadays, tea houses are still considered an ideal venue for socializing. The preparation of tea is an important part of the Chinese tea culture. Different kinds of tea require different methods of preparation. Offering tea is considered a sign of respect, courtesy and gratitude.

Along with Wuyutai's renowned traditional tea products, the company has developed various new products to expand its market share; namely, tea-flavored moon cakes, ice cream, candy and cuisines.

At the end of 2006, Wuyutai recovered an old tea cuisine recipe that belonged to Wu Xiqing, who was also a gourmet cook and was keen on introducing tea elements to traditional Chinese cuisines.

At the Refreshments and Cuisine of Wuyutai Court (Wuyutai Nei Fu Dishes), you can not only enjoy tea beverages, but also taste tea-related cuisines. Wuyutai advocates a healthy and natural way of eating. The dishes on its menu are mouthwatering and creative.

For instance, Puer Tea with Natural Fried Chrysanthemum is cooked so delicately from fresh chrysanthemum flowers without losing the natural shape or color of the flower. And the Puer tea on the side neutralizes the flower's coolness with its warmth.

Fresh Shrimps with Biluo Tea is quite fun to eat. The teapot alongside the shrimp is an automatic dark-red enamel pot, which pours tea automatically as soon as a cup is placed on the base.

And the "brushes" on this pallet are not made for Chinese calligraphy but for your stomach. This snack is made of wheat flour mixed with cubilose, shark's fin, snow clam and papaya. The ink-like stuff on the inkstone is actually blueberry sauce. You can also choose chili sauce if you prefer.

And one appetizer is made from French goose liver and green tea pudding. There's a piece of Kuding tea leaf on each cube of pudding. The appetizer combines the bitterness of Kuding tea with the scent of green tea, as well as the creamy texture of goose liver.

Eating at the Wuyutai theme restaurant is more than just a tea banquet. While you are dinning here, you can also feel the traditional Chinese tea culture and see how it was rejuvenated under Wuyutai's business philosophy.

 

 

The man who was Mao's hero

The Bruce Lee legend never fades but it might surprise some to learn that among his legion of fans was Chairman Mao, who called him a hero.

Chairman Mao Zedong (1893-1976) and Bruce Lee the martial arts legend (1940-1973) both declared - in their unique ways - that the Chinese people had "stood up".

Mao made this proclamation on the founding of the People's Republic of China, on Oct 1, 1949, Lee said it in a cinematic way that needed no translation when he kicked and smashed a wooden panel bearing the words: "Chinese and dogs not allowed", one of the iconic scenes steeped in fiery nationalism from Fist of Fury.

The words are supposedly from notices at the entrance of public parks in colonial Shanghai, and have come to symbolize the country's humiliation.

It turns out the Great Helmsman was a huge fan of the kungfu legend.

 

 


Netizens find a word to sum up frustration

BEIJING - The Chinese character "涨" (zhang), which is used to describe a rapid price rise, has been voted "Character of the Year" in an online poll in a move that suggests the public is becoming increasingly dissatisfied with inflation and soaring house prices.

 

 

 


 

Report: China May Be Shifting on Land Use

From redistribution to radical collectivization and back again, massive changes in land use policy have been part and parcel of Chinese politics for the better part of a century. In recent decades, however, the government has been remarkably consistent, holding tight to a land-use policy built around the goal of agricultural self-sufficiency and mandating that any arable land given over to the country’s growing cities be replaced with reclaimed farmland elsewhere.

Rapidly expanding mega-cities like Chongqing have been challenging the central government’s efforts to balance urbanization with agricultural self-sufficiency.

 

 

Liquor prices soar on high year-end demand

SHANGHAI/BEIJING - As the Chinese New Year draws near, the demand for high-end Chinese liquor is soaring.

Well-known brands, including Kweichow Moutai and Wuliangye, have started raising liquor prices, but analysts said frequent surges will fuel market speculation.

According to Yao the reason that the current retail price of a standard bottle of Moutai has exceeded more than 800 yuan - the maximum price Kweichou Moutai allows its retailers to charge - is a reflection of the laws of supply and demand.

Yao said the current price rise is no different from previous years, "the pre-New Year period is usually a peak season for liquor sales", he explained. Wuliangye Group Co Ltd also denied similar reports.

 

 

China commemorates Nanjing Massacre victims

 

 

Slideshow: Para Games opening ceremony performance

A world of beauty and care, depicted by outreached hands, is highlighted during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Asian Para Games at the Aoti Main Stadium in Guangzhou, capital of Guangdong province, on Sunday night.

 

 

China’s Army of Graduates Struggles for Jobs

Villagers who will work in China’s factories are in demand, but many college graduates seeking professional jobs find their value plunging.

A neighborhood in Beijing where cheap rents have attracted hundreds of young college graduates from all over China.

 

Puppet Masters Try to Bring Art Out of the Shadows

THE Cui Yongping Shadow Play Art Museum exhibits shadow puppets. Which is like saying the Louvre exhibits paintings.

 

 


Book Review

The Final Conflict

A Stanford historian views the clash between East and West from a long perspective, and argues that we face an immediate choice — East-West cooperation or catastrophe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review

Under a Fishbone Clouds


In Sam Meekings’s fable-like first novel, a couple’s devotion is tested during Mao’s Cultural Revolution and beyond.

China, 1946: the Japanese occupation is over, and the people of Fushun are wondering when prosperity will return. But 16-year-old Yuying is anticipating the answer to her own big question — what her new husband will be like.

 

 

 

BOOK REVIEW
Eastern promise
The Chinese Dream: The Rise of the World's Largest Middle Class and What It Means to You by Helen Wang


Reviewed by Benjamin A Shobert

The author argues that the mainland's rising middle class is essential to the economic health of both China and the United States, as well as to China's future political liberalization. Underneath all this, her book also strikes a poignant note about America's lost optimism.

 

 

 

 

 

Home alone, China's elderly need better care and support

SHANGHAI - Wang Yuchan, 54, is not always perfectly happy, even though her peers would envy her life.

With a good pension, the retired woman leads a comparatively good life in North China's Tianjin municipality. Her husband works at a State-owned company, and their only son, who is in his 30s, has a decent job in the southern manufacturing hub of Shenzhen.

But Wang worries about her future.

"My husband and I are getting older and older, and I know that one day we won't be able to get around. I don't know what our lives will be like then," she said.

"We live a good life with a stable income now. But I don't know what will happen when my husband retires. Our only son is very busy. He only comes back during the Spring Festival holiday."

Wang's concerns are well founded. Recently a series of incidents in Nanchang, the capital of East China's Jiangxi province, in which old people died unnoticed in their homes, highlighted the plight of elderly people who live alone.


 

The naked truth about nude art

Xiao Yu (not her real name) smiled as she flipped through her favorite photo album - a collection of nude portraits she recently posed for at a Beijing studio.

"A beautiful body deserves pride," said the 23-year-old. "I wanted to preserve the memory of youth, when the body is at its physical peak."

Although unabashed in private, perhaps the fact that Xiao Yu did not want to be quoted under her real name for fear of upsetting her family or bosses at the media organization where she works tells a different story.

A growing number of Chinese people are now choosing to go nude for posterity, particularly young women and new brides. However, the trend is not supported by everyone.

 

 

 

Deal Deepens Melding of Games, Film in China

Is the movie-watching world close to seeing the Chinese equivalent of a “Laura Croft: Tomb Raider”?

That possibility has taken a step forward with the announcement yesterday that Huayi Brothers Media Corporation, China’s leading film and TV production house, is joining forces with Chinese online game developer Giant Interactive Group Inc.

Giant Interactive’s multi-player online role playing game “King of Kings III,” destined for the big screen?

 

 

VIDEO - Post-80s in China-E05

Post-80s is a special word in China, which refers to people born in the 1980s.

 

Eye on China

 

Home-made food from the pot

SHANGHAI - More Chinese consumers say they are growing vegetables at home in response to rising prices and food safety issues. Prices of major types of vegetables grew 10.1 percent in October from those in September alone, figures from the National Development and Reform Commission showed.

A resident, surnamed Jia, in Shenyang of Northeast China's Liaoning province, waters his vegetables at his home

 

The moral degeneration of our times

Every generation is different from the previous one. But the total absence of moral values among some people born between the late 1980s and early 1990s makes them different in a sadly different way.

As young girls, we were taught to look for knowledge and integrity in a man, and marry the one who we loved. (In earlier times, women were taught to love the man they were married to, though.) Sex was always a deepening of intimacy that came only with a relationship of trust. But some girls today consider such values old-fashioned moral rhetoric.

These are different times.

 

 

VIDEO - Naked wedding photos

China Daily reports this week that naked wedding photographs are becoming popular among some young couples in Beijing and other cities. Young people are more open-minded than in previous generations, one photography studio staff member explained.

 


 

1.4m sit China's civil service exam

BEIJING - In the cold on Sunday morning, a 31-year-old woman surnamed Zhang arrived at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology to sit a highly competitive exam for a government job at 9 a.m.

Even though her current job here in Beijing with a multinational accounting firm pays well, Zhang said the pressure was heavy and she often had to work overtime.

"The reason I'm sitting this exam is that I want to switch to a more stable and easier job," she said.

Zhang is among the more than one million Chinese who took the annual National Public Servant Exam in 46 cities across the country Sunday, hoping to gain admittance to the civil service of the central authorities.

The exam involves two written tests, one of which is in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The first features multi-choice questions concerning the Chinese language, as well as maths and logic. The second quizzes the candidates' writing skills and ideas on certain issues.

An increasing number of people have qualified to sit the exam over the past six years, from 120,000 in 2004 to more than 1.4 million this year.

Participants leave the examination site after the first section of the annual national civil service examination to select government officials in Hefei, Anhui province Dec 5, 2010. More than 1.4 million people have been accepted to sit in China's 2011 national civil service examination to select government officials. The written test was held on Sunday in major cities across China.

 

 

Feng Shui masters milking Hong Kong

It isn't just private individuals who are paying out large sums for the dubious expertise of Hong Kong's feng shui masters. The city government routinely pays fortune-tellers to "cleanse" infrastructure projects, with well-connected village chiefs often sharing the spoils.

 

 

Bringing a Softer Side to Policing in China

CHENGDU, China — A district in China has supplemented its urban street police with 13 women, to give the rough-hewn police a softer, feminine side.

 

 

Beijing’s Xu to Design Mouton Rothschild Label

Salvador Dali, Joan Miró, Georges Braque — add the name of China’s Xu Lei to the list of artists who have designed a label for top-flight Bordeaux wine producer Château Mouton Rothschild.

The winemaker has selected artists to design its label every year since 1945.

 

 

 

Investors see gold as inflation hedge

SHANGHAI - Investors are flocking to banks and famous gold stores in the city to snap up the yellow metal as a hedge against inflation.

"Gold investment is regarded as a safe haven by wealthy investors when uncertainties exist in the domestic stock and property markets," Wang said.

 

 

School Stages stamede drill

A police officer teaches students of a primary school in Shenyang, capital of Liaoning province, how to protect themselves when a stampede happens, following the Monday school stampede in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region that injured 41 students.

 

 

ChinaLoveCupid/ChineseLoveLinks - Serious Chinese Dating Relationships

 

Books by the Editors

 

Set in Zanzibar

'A maharaja’s ruby cast on a Persian carpet by the blackest of hands'

 

 

Chapter One

London 1910

“Hello, who are you? I am Oliver, is Edward at home?”

The words were spoken by a tall, impeccably dressed young man rushing into Edward’s flat, shaking off surplus water and calling for whisky while shoving his umbrella into a stand; a shaggy grey Irish wolfhound, impeccably dressed by savile row.

Susan laughed, her hazel eyes dancing with the exhilaration of the new. “Yes, he is having a bath. I think he is trying to get warm. I’m Susan, Susan Carey, his sister.

...

They chatted, tentatively at first, getting to know one another. Edward had not seen Susan for two years and was unsure how his sister would take his new relationship. Oliver was intrigued by Susan. An attractive, self-assured young lady of high intelligence with a degree was a rare find. And, as fate would have it, she was also a trained and experienced teacher. He suggested a picnic at Oxford, which was met with ready acquiescence.

“I’ll see if the Rolls is available,” mused Oliver. “Must ring father, haven’t spoken to him in ages.”

Oliver, Sir Oliver Marchmaine, was an unaffected young man of intense intelligence who saw life as a great adventure to be lived to the full. He was also unyieldingly loyal to his country, England, which is why he had joined Military Intelligence on leaving Oxford.

It was 1910 and Europe was stirring. It was a time full of interest, intrigue and danger, the European chessboard becoming increasingly complex, the moves more subtle. A time when an unexpected move or feint could have profound consequences.

...

The woman smiled to acknowledge Asim’s greeting, his eyes looking directly at her from within the folds of an impossibly white kufiyya. A peregrine falcon: lean, intense, beautiful, with a hunter’s gaze.

“You were sent by Sir Edward Clark?” asked Asim.

The question was direct, intended merely to ascertain the relevant information. He did not respond to her femininity. Did not glance she remembered, allowed herself to remember. The counterpoint between the masculine and the feminine was missing. Something in him, that part of him, had withered to the point of extinction. She did not know that then. That was to be part of her journey.

“Yes, my name is Susan, Susan Carey. I am the teacher.”

 

$US4.99

 

 

Pick'n Season

Short stories on a theme set in Tasmania, Australia

Where style and story telling are explored.

$US2.99

 

 

The Cultural Revolution through my Eyes

By Zhou Xiaosui

$US2.99

I was born in 1966, the year China the Culture Revolution began. My mother told me when I was just born that a nurse held me in her arms and said, "come, look at this girl, she is so pretty, her eyes are so big". Another nurse who was in the room standing in front of the window, said, "come here and look at the people marching down the street wearing high caps!"

They were the people the Gong Chan Party (The Communist Party) had branded as counter-revolutionary. They were being marched down the street as an example.

This is the story of my life, and my family's life, in the time of the Cultural Revolution. I hope you will be interested in seeing China through my eyes.

 

Chapter One

I was Born in this Time

This was a time of unrest and uncertainty. A time that was to last for 10 long years and profoundly affected my family.

Just after I was born, the Government accused my father of being a counter-revolutionary because his family had moved from China and all lived overseas. So he lost his job as a teacher. He wasn’t allowed to work and had to stay at home reflecting on what he had done wrong. This was bad for my father, but it was good for me. My father could look after me at home, and over the early years of my growing up I became very close to my father who was also my first teacher.

I remember, he hung a blanket by the four corners to become a hammock, and he put me inside. He would rock me to and fro when I cried or became restless. He needed to write two pieces for the Government about his thinking and saying sorry that his family left China and lived overseas. He also had to embroider a Mao Zhengdong photo.

Just like this, my father looked after me and finished his thinking “reconstruct”.

My parents told me I was a lambkin, a fat lot cry. My father really loved me. At that time, no-one listened for him, so he talked to me everyday. He talked and talked and I laughed and laughed. My father said he looked at me and I made him so happy.

By the time I was one year old, I had worn out four blankets!

When I was one year old, my father who had lost his job as a teacher, had to go to a Government building company to become a general labourer. It was very hard work for a teacher. At night he had to go to re-education meetings. When I was older and started to understand something of what had happened in my family, my sister, who is six years older than me, told me, “in this time, many nights she saw my father come back from the meeting with bruises and wounds all over the body." These had been inflicted by the Hong Wei Bing. My mother, who was a Doctor, cried and helped my father clean the wounds. These beatings went on night after night, my father wanted to die. My mother told him, “I need you, your two children need you, they need to have a father, you must live!’

Hong Wei Bing: Hong = red; wei = to guard, to protect; bing = soldier

In Chinese culture, ‘hong’ is lucky and represents good.

The Hong Wei Bing was the Communists Party’s youth cadre. It was made up of students in high school aged between 12 and 18. They were given authority over any person branded as a counter-revolutionary. They were, of course, too young and callow to be given that much power, so they abused it. It would be like giving the students at your local High School authority, without boundaries, over anyone in your town who did not seem to conform, including their teachers.

The Government officials ran the re-education meeting with the Hong Wei Bing.

The Hong Wei Bing harassed anyone who was at the meeting. Asking questions like, ‘Did you do the bad thing for the Government, for Mao?’, ‘Do you love Mao?’, ‘Why does your family live overseas?’ ………… questions that had to be answered quickly and with enthusiasm. If the Hong Wei Bing were not satisfied with the answer, or even if they did not like your demeanor, of if they just wanted to hurt you, then they would beat you up. Many people died from these beatings.

My father did not, he lived.

 

$US2.99

 

 

My Father's Wisdom

By Zhou Xiaosui

I was born in 1966, the year China the Culture Revolution began. My mother told me when I was just born that a nurse held me in her arms and said, "come, look at this girl, she is so pretty, her eyes are so big". Another nurse who was in the room standing in front of the window, said, "come here and look at the people marching down the street wearing high caps!"

They were the people the Gong Chan Party (The Communist Party) had branded as counter-revolutionary. They were being marched down the street as an example.

These are some of the stories my father taught my in this time.

$US2.99